||maclean at cs dot ubc dot ca
||by arrangement; open door policy
|| 2011/12 Term 2
||Tu, Thu 11:00-12:30
|course email (staff+students):
||cpsc543 at cs dot ubc dot ca
|Enrolling in CPSC 543: Students are expected to attend initial classes. Adding the course late is not encouraged, and will not be permitted at all after the 2nd class.
This is a graduate-level introduction
to the inception, creation and evaluation of physical
and multimodal human-computer interfaces. It emphasizes control and/or display of virtual environments through
the sense of touch for the purpose of human-system communication, as well as perceptual/attentional foundations. Types of communication include tactile signaling, affective touch, and shared control between human and smart system.
Format: lectures, assignments and labs,
reading and discussion of current literature; culminating in a team design or evaluation project of the student's choice.
Labs and projects will employ available active-haptic display
hardware ("active" means it can generate force),
and/or prototyping of passive physical interfaces; they
should focus on creative crafting of the interface to
suit the application.
New in 2011/12: this course's labs and projects will consist ofArduino-based "haptic sketching", taking a more rapid iterative cycle to our design explorations than in the past. Past courses have used a different custom hardware base that is less amenable to rapid prototyping.
Each student will be required to purchase an Arduino prototyping kit, costing about $100 CAD (bought in bulk by the department and passed at cost to class), the contents of which you will use throughout the course (labs and project) and keep at the end. In addition the lab will stock tools and extra components and materials. You may find worthwhile for creativity sake to scavenge and possibly purchase other low-cost sensors, actuators and materials in their project explorations (we certainly encourage recycling!)
& current hot research areas
Physical user interfaces are anything
we touch to learn something from a computer or networked system, or to direct
it in some way. While this includes the computer mouse and
the power button, programmed physical interfaces can be powerful information displays, intuitive and undemanding of attention. Exactly how to make them work well, in an age of attentional overload, is what makes this a hot research topic. In this course, we'll use haptic force-feedack and tactile display technology as the means, and focus on the interaction design that's necessary for solving real problems.
Today, we know how to build and control
small safe robots, we have mastered some techniques
for haptic rendering, and we understand some of the
key human psychophysic and cognitive abilities that
translate into specifications for haptic displays. This
has paved the way to the current research frontiers:
Communication: How do we ideally
use these devices? What is the languague with which
we will communicate with or through them? How should
they be integrated into the world?
- Evaluation: How do we know when a
physical interface has improved an application in
some way? In many cases the benefits are long-term,
health-related (physical or emotional), or
emotional/aesthetic; despite their importance, these can be difficult to measure and quantify. When immediate performance improvement
is expected, it may be in dynamic situations tough
to reproduce in a test lab. Coming up with trustworthy
and practical test scenarios that will satisfy both
the academic community and a venture capitalist
is a challenge with rich potential rewards.
Cost: At present, active haptic displays
may be [relatively] cheap or high performance, but
are rarely both at the same time. Creativity is required
to make cheap devices feel good, and/or find new
technologies to reduce the cost of high performance.
Power: Some of the most provocative
applications for force-feedback displays are in
handheld and portable devices; yet the added power
and bulk of state-of-the-art displays make this
impractical. New actuation technology and unconventional
uses of existing technologies are needed.
- Applications: Above all, what will
ultimately be their best, most irresistable uses?
|The detailed schedule is maintained on the course twiki, along with team information.
|I. Introduction - Physical Interaction Design
- Course overview; what and why
|II. Technology, 1st pass
- Simple force and tactile feedback: overview, actuation and sensing
- Haptic control architectures
|III. Ways to Physically Communicate
- Signals: haptic icons
- Affect: haptic and gestural
- Sharing control using forces
- Abstractions and higher level control of information
|Technology, next step
- Intro to controls: the PID
- Rendering: Rigid surfaces and static linear building blocks
- Rendering: Dynamic systems, Textures
- Workload theory and multimodal interfaces
- Experiment Design/Analysis - overview; ethics
- Experiment Design/Analysis - workload
- Human haptic sensing & motor control
- Cross-modal interactions
A student who successfully *completes* this course will:
1) Know some basics about haptic interfaces,
their actuation, control and programming. E.g.,
2) Be aware of application areas, and
how to think about new ones:
- be familiar with a a variety of types of physical
- know a number of methods for sensing
the user-imposed state of a physical interface, and for actuating
- how to haptically render a rigid surface,
several different surface properties, and a deformable
- how to create a simple dynamic haptic virtual environment
3) Possess a rudimentary understanding of haptic psychophysics, such as
- list several current and potential
applications of haptic feedback
- describe essential features of handheld
- list a number of methods for prototyping
and designing physical application interfaces
4) Have experienced taking a simple
physical interface through a full cycle of design, prototype,
evaluation and reporting [UPDATE FOR 2011/12 ]
- identify the primary mechanisms of
human haptic sensing
- describe key cross-modal relationships
between the haptic sense and vision / audition
- design a simple psychophysical test
- use a combination of prototyping
methods to develop and demonstrate a novel physical
- explore the relation between a physical
interaction modality and some kind of content
- use basic experimental techniques
to evaluate the effectiveness of that interface
- report findings in the fomat of an academic paper
- design and deliver a research presentation
Physical user intefaces are intensely
interdisciplinary: I encourage students from Computer
Science, Engineering (Mech, ECE) and Psychology with
interests in HCI and novel interface technologies to
take this course. It will make both our discussions
and our projects more interesting.
Given the interdisciplinary part, prerequisites
are minimal, but be prepared to absorb new information
in a variety of areas.
- decent programming skills
- basic physics (phys 170
- Introductory HCI: cpsc 344/544 or equivalent, pre- or co-req. Students coming
from other departments (and welcomed for their
diverse background) may find it difficult
to access this recommendation or fit it into their curriculum.
These individuals will have a mild but
overcomable handicap; if a minority, you should
be able to pick up necessary background in
part from your team and classmates.
Skills that are especially welcomed: The following are not necessary, but if you have one or more it will come in handy!
- introductory level controls (you
can write and rapidly tune a PID controller).
- introductory robotics
- hardware programming experience. Familarity
with multithreaded coding and device I/O on at least
one platform, with ability to transfer knowledge
- basic mechatronics experience (circuits,
micros and mechanisms)
- basic experiment design & statistical
- basic haptic and/or auditory psychophysics
- basic modelmaking or machine design
/ fabrication experience & access to facilities
Finally, bring your creative and artistic
side. While a technical background is essential
to build interfaces, some of the best ideas and intuitions
for them come from the hours you spend with old-fashioned
hand tools, musical instruments, drawing/painting/sculpting
implements, and anything else where you've found the
physical medium allows you some control over content
that a keyboard and mouse doesn't.
This is a highly participatory and project-oriented
course. Tentative distribution of credit:
assigned readings & discussion -- 1-2 papers are assigned for reading for each leacture. Students must complete the readings before class and send written questions/comments to the instructor PRIOR to class. (Please read about details)
||assignments and labs
--- there will be regular assignments during
first half of course.
--- the iterative design project will be a primary activity
throughout the course, and replaces a formal
final exam. Time in and outside of class is available
for progress checking and consulting with
the instructor. While a variety of approaches to the project may be taken (e.g. iterations than branch, or conversely build upon one another), marks will depend on:
- originality and elegance
of concept and approach
- stretch and ambitiousness of explorations
- progress over the term
- adherence to progress milestones
- timelieness and quality of interim
- quality of final presentation
- completeness and quality of final written report.
||discretionary --- The instructor will assess overall individual course participation based on many factors, including involvement in class discussions; observed project contributions, including participation in scheduled group meetings; and, to a small degree supplemented by optional peer feedback supplied by teammates. This component is marked subjectively, by necessity.