VibroTac is a novel haptic device in the form of a bracelet that generates vibrotactile feedback to transmit various information to its user. It makes use of the haptic channel instead of the visual or auditory channel, thus it is predestined for blind or deaf persons and for the use in loud environments as well as in situations where visual and auditory channels are overcharged.
The VibroTac was presented to the public in 2010 and licensed to SENSODRIVE in 2011.
With six vibration segments, distributed around the arm in equal distances, VibroTac generates tactile stimuli that are separately and continuously adjustable in frequency and shape. Hence, various kinds of information such as direction, distance or collision feedback can be displayed to the user in an unobtrusive way. Due to the patented ergonomic concept, the device can be worn on a wide range of arm diameters while battery power and wireless control contribute to unrestricted movement capability and user convenience.
Ongoing research focuses on the application dependent optimization of stimuli pattern as well as on different Human Factors aspects. VibroTac has been developed at the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics and is now sold under license by SENSODRIVE.
The VibroTac is a wristband that generates vibrotactile stimuli in order to transmit various information to human arms. This photo shows the VibroTac placed flat on a surface.
DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).
The VibroTac S is equipped with time-of-flight sensors and can inform its user about the distance to the environment or to obstacles by vibration.
The VibroTac S can also be used for robot arms and detect the distance to obstacles.
VibroTac with cover opened
The VibroTac achieves its extremely high elasticity thanks to zig-zag rubber bands. So it fits to both, lean forearms as well as strong upper arms.
Navigation for blind and visually impaired people is just one application of the VibroTac. With its six vibration motors, the VibroTac can intuitively display directional cues.
Five additional vibration motors connected to the VibroTac generate feedback at the finger tips