Haptics classwork

For our initial in-class assignments, I partnered with Youjin. We used pancake vibe motors with Arduino.

We used the basic LED sketches from Arduino but replaced the LEDs with pancake vibration motors. We even used a transistor to increase power output on the motor.


We also played around with the motor driver trying out different variations of haptic feedbacks provided in the data sheet. They were too subtle to really see a noticeable difference on camera and unfortunately we forgot to document on camera.

We also tried to connect an audio input to audio IN port on the driver. we weren’t able to drive the motors with the audio input sadly. At first It didn’t work at all and the audio was still playing on the speaker of my phone. On second try the audio wasnt playing on the speaker and the wired connection was made but the driver was unable to drive the motors.


Assignment brief

Your task is to work as a group to test and/or develop a particular type of haptic feedback and to provide your findings in a physical form to be experienced by the class. This can be a deeper dive into the work we’ve done already with vibrating motors or a branching out into alternative approaches to haptic feedback

For this assignment I worked with Alexandra Lopez and Anita Mbabzi. We came up with a necklace with feathers which vibrate in different intensities.

Fabrication process

User testing and feedback

We largely received good feedback and people responded to it positively. Antonio, who has blindness suggested that this could be a good wearable tool for way finding and navigation through haptic touch.


I wanna take this setup of motor arrays and use it to make an integrated back massager in a tight vest. The vest could be worn under a anything and can be used as a discreet back massager on the subway back home from a tiring workday. The motor arrays will be controllable and programmable over an simple app with default setting modes.
Although I will need substantial sowing skills for this as I tried to stitch on stretchy material and found it really challenging! Perhaps something to do over the winter break!

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