CSE DREU: Summer 2011

The Research Project


Tactile navigation systems employ the use of one’s sense of touch with haptic feedback to communicate directions. This type of navigation presents a potentially faster and more accurate mode of navigation than preexisting visual or auditory forms. We developed a navigational system, HaptiGo, which uses a tactile harness controlled by an Android application to communicate directions. The use of a smartphone to provide GPS and compass information allows for a more compact and user-friendly system. HaptiGo has been tested for functionality and to determine general receptiveness to haptic navigation. It was further tested to determine if tactile navigation provides for shorter navigation times, more travel accuracy than traditional visual navigation methods, and improved environmental awareness. During the course of the summer, we explored the novel usage of smartphones for tactile navigation, tested the effectiveness of the HaptiGo navigation system as well as its accuracy compared to the use of static map-based navigation.