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Fun With Haptic Devices

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I was tasked to write software on Linux that works with this thing. What is it? Thankfully there's a video explaining what it is. It's actually a neat idea to sacrifice movement range for a motion controller that actually works as opposed to something you wave at a sensor bar be it a controller or yourself. It never jumps or misinterprets my movements and it doesn't have an annoying input delay. It also holds the controller grip (there's a little ball with buttons and the gun shown in the picture) in air where you left it while powered on. It can force back, I could feel it stopping my hand to simulate boundaries.

This is all very neat, but my work wants to use it for robotics and motion planning purposes. There has actually been work done with it before in helping you solve complicated problems by letting you get a "feel" of the model you're trying to solve by hand. You can "feel" the contours of objects.. A good example to describe what I mean would be modeling software which stops you from trying to move one object into another, kind of like projecting collision detection into a real life analog. There's lots of scientific applications for this thing.

Apparently there's already a Linux driver and software to help you write applications for Linux that use this thing. And more specifically, publicly available papers that use this library to do the whole "science with haptic devices on Linux" thing.

I know I've got to repair the touchpad on my Linux machine and continue my Linux game programming tutorials, if there is time I might even throw in a section on using weird devices like this one.

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May 2018

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