About This Course
Students in this class will learn how to build, program, and control haptic devices, which are mechatronic devices that allow users to feel virtual or remote environments. In the process, students will gain an appreciation for the capabilities and limitations of human touch, develop an intuitive connection between equations that describe physical interactions and how they feel, and gain practical interdisciplinary engineering skills related to robotics, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, bioengineering, and computer science. We will send each student a free Hapkit to be assembled, tested, and programmed at home. Laboratory assignments using Hapkit will give students hands-on experience in assembling mechanical systems, making circuits, programming Arduino-based micro-controllers, and testing their haptic creations. After the class, we hope that you will continue to use and modify your Hapkit, and let us know about your haptic creations.
Allison Okamura (Instructor and Hapkit co-designer)
Allison is an associate professor in the Stanford University mechanical engineering department and (by courtesy) computer science department. She is the director of the Collaborative Haptics and Robotics in Medicine (CHARM) Laboratory. Allison creates robots and human-computer interfaces that use haptics (the sense of touch) in order to improve human health, safety, and quality of life. She and her students study applications of haptic technology in robot-assisted surgery, prosthetics, rehabilitation, simulation and training, space teleoperation, and education. Allison is committed to sharing her passion for research and discovery, using robotics and haptics in outreach programs to groups underrepresented in engineering. Outside academia, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, running, and playing ice hockey.
Tania Morimoto (Principal Designer for Hapkit)
Tania is a graduate student in the mechanical engineering department at Stanford University. She received her bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012. She is a 2013 National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow. Her research interests are educational haptics and personalized medical robotics for minimally invasive surgery. Tania was the principal designer of Hapkit.
Paulo Blikstein (Hapkit co-designer and course content contributor)
Paulo is an assistant professor at Stanford University’s school of education and (by courtesy) computer science department. His research focus is on the confluence of expressive technologies for learning and critical pedagogy. He adapts cutting-edge technologies for use in inner-city schools, such as computer modeling, robotics, and rapid prototyping, creating constructionist learning environments in which children learn science and mathematics by building sophisticated projects and devices. His research interests also include the applications of complexity sciences in education and computational literacy, particularly the new knowledge representation infrastructures emerging from the use of computational representations.
We would also like to thank the many students and collaborators who have exchanged ideas with Allison about haptics education in the past (including Katherine Kuchenbecker, Will Provancher, Jake Abbott, Karon MacLean, Blake Hannaford, and Mark Cutkosky), as well as people who contributed to the design of Hapkit and previous versions of Stanford's Haptic Paddle (including Mark Cutkosky, Jesse Dorogusker, Chris Richard, Marlo Kohn, Danya Volkov, Ian Connolly, Kunal Chawla, Matthew Weber, Zhan Fan Quek, Nick Colonnese, Ann Majewicz, Darrel Deo, Melisa Orta, Lester Su, Alexander Miller, Robert Webster, Jenna Gorlewicz, William Provancher). This course is supported in part by the Stanford University Office of the Vice Provost for Online Learning, the Stanford University School of Engineering, and the National Science Foundation.
Hapkit photos © 2013 Megan Chiou.