Shape Memory Polymer taxels

Working principle of Shape Memory Polymers:

(extract from EPFL’s LMTS webpage on haptic displays and from the project final report)

Here you find a Movie showing the flexible version of our 24×32 element active skin: i) displaying different patterns, ii) device operating principle, and iii) dynamic thermal imaging showing selective taxel heating. Published in Advanced Materials Technologies 2017.

Operating principle for a single SMPs taxel. Synchronizing the global pneumatic actuation and the Joule heating switches the taxel from up to down, or vice versa.

Photo and exploded view of the 4×4 SMP haptic display


24×32 haptic display with 768 independent SMP actuators, showing the BlindPad logo. The SMP actuators were made at EPFL, the control electronics and firmware by BlindPad partner IIT, and control software by BlindPad partner Geomobile.

Pictures of each separated parts used to drive in the 32×24 SMP prototype. The hardware (actuators + pumps), the driver board and the software are shown.

Picture of the 32×24 SMP prototype with the pin interface (from IIT) and the copper plate  to speed up the refresh time.

Makerstown in Bruxelles

At the Makerstown the first qualitive results of the experiments in Poland with the 12×16 BlindPAD was presented. Also, the proto1 was demonstrated onsite.


World Haptics 2017

At the World Haptics J.J Zarate, N. Besse, O. Gudozhnik, A. Ruch, H. Shea, demonstrated the “Portable pin array with 192 fast latching taxels”. Also an oral presentation was given about the portable pins. Many people tried out the demonstrator. A lighter version of the proto1, which was used at the first prototypes was presented at the World Haptics.

ACM CHI 2017

At the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2017 in Denver a paper was accepted to demonstrate the latest version of BlindPAD together with a simple game of Pong – Haptic Pong.

IEEE Haptics Symposium 2016

Nadine Besse, Herbert Shea, Juan Zarate, Samuel Rosset, Luca Brayda presented the “4×4 SMP demo” at the Haptics Symposium 2016 conference held from April 8th till 11th 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In addition to that also a publication was successful at the Symposium.

Impressions from the Symposium