This is the work in progress page of the Animotus, a shape changing haptic navigation device that was called ‘The Haptic Sandwich’ whilst in development.The Animotus is a handheld shape changing navigation device that communicates through the sense of touch. It extends its body to indicate how far away you are from your target or waypoint and twists to indicate the direction to your target.

The following short video explains the device and it’s application to the immersive theater production Flatland. Apologies to visitors who cannot view the video – more text based information follows.

A 3-page academic publication on the Animotus, and its role in the immersive theater production Flatland, may be found may be downloaded from ResearchGate. This paper won the ‘Best Work-in-Progress’ people’s choice award at the prestigious World Haptics 2015 conference.

The Animotus has received quite a lot of media attention. Here’s a (most likely incomplete) list of original news articles. There are countless copycat articles that just re-posted the text of one of these.

  1. Yale News: A shape-shifting navigation device for both the sighted and visually impaired
  2. http://seas.yale.edu/news-events/news/shape-shifting-navigation-device-both-sighted-and-visually-impaired
  3. http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20150826/yale-post-doc-invents-gps-shape-changing-device-that-directs-holder-by-touch
  4. http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1113408198/shape-shifting-handheld-device-is-gps-for-the-visually-impaired-082715/
  5. http://www.gizmag.com/navigation-haptic-yale-animotus/39130/
  6. https://hackaday.com/2015/09/04/experimental-theater-helps-field-test-haptic-navigation-device/
  7. http://phys.org/news/2015-08-shape-shifting-device-sighted-visually-impaired.html
  8. http://scitechdaily.com/yale-engineers-develop-a-shape-shifting-navigation-device-for-the-visually-impaired/
  9. http://www.3ders.org/articles/20150831-animotus-3d-printed-guidance-cube-changes-shapes-to-point-you-in-the-right-direction.html
  10. http://www.citylab.com/navigator/2015/09/let-this-shape-shifting-cube-navigate-for-you/403174/
  11. http://www.psfk.com/2015/08/shape-shifting-device-yale-university-gps-cube-visually-impaired.html
  12. http://kalen2utech.com/yale-engineers-develop-a-shape-shifting-navigation-device-for-the-visually-impaired/
  13. http://3dprint.com/92535/3d-printed-animotus-cube/
  14. http://de.engadget.com/2015/08/31/animotus-navigationswurfel-weist-durch-formanderung-den-weg/
  15. http://unwire.hk/2015/09/02/animotus/life-tech/
  16. http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/navigation-device
  17. http://en.egg-life.net/article/97498
  18. http://www.technologyvista.in/pin/now-your-navigation-device-can-change-its-shape-to-point-in-the-right-direction/
  19. http://www.rin.org.uk/newsitem/4222/A-touch-of-navigation
  20. http://technabob.com/blog/2015/09/07/animotus-shape-changing-navigation-device/
  21. http://www.ubergizmo.com/2015/08/navigational-device-shapeshifts-direction/
  22. http://www.centurier.com/article-5638-1.html
  23. http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/29845/20150909/3d-printed-robotic-navigation-device-transforms-lead-blind-video.htm
  24. http://es.egg-life.net/article/97498 (Spanish)
  25. http://www.yunjuu.com/info/419427.html (Chinese)
  26. http://whatnext.pl/animotus-nawigacja-bez-wyswietlacza/ (Polish?)
  27. http://engineerpal.com/a-new-navigation-device-that-directs-you-by-changing-its-shape/
  28. http://www.engineering.com/PLMERP/ArticleID/10649/Haptic-Device-Offers-GPS-Navigation-for-the-Blind.aspx

I also appeared on the AAAS Science Update Podcast and device was presented on Discovery Channel Canada’s TV show, Daily Planet.

An animotus held in hand

Animotus