The Haptic Hand

Berdahl, Edgar and Huber, Denis

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

The haptic hand is a greatly simplified robotic hand that is designed to mirror the human hand and provide haptic force feedback for applications in music. The fingers of the haptic hand device are laid out to align with four of the fingers of the human hand. A key is placed on each of the fingers so that a human hand can perform music by interacting with the keys. The haptic hand is distinguished from other haptic keyboards in the sense that each finger is meant to stay with a particular key. The haptic hand promotes unencumbered interaction with the keys. The user can easily position a finger over a key and press downward to activate it—the user does not need to insert his or her fingers into an unwieldy exoskeleton or set of thimbles. An example video demonstrates some musical ideas afforded by this open-source software and hardware project.