Haptography: recording the feel of things
[Video Link] University of Pennsylvania's Katherine Kuchenbecker is developing technology to record what things feel like when you touch them.
When you want to learn about an object through touch, not only will you place your hand on it, its also likely that you will move your hand along its surface to understand the object’s texture and form.
With this in mind Kuchenbecker developed a pen-like tool with various sensors inside. When the tool is moved over a particular object or material these sensors collect data about that movement. A force sensor records how hard you are pushing the tool; a motion-tracking sensor tells exactly where you’ve moved it; a vibration sensor and accelerometer detects the shaking back and forth of the tool.