Bridging Earth and Space via Tangible and Non-verbal Interaction
Update on the prototype development progress:
I’ve been mostly fine tuning the 3D models of the prototype-2 components to have the extension mechanism work reliably. I’ve tried three different mechanism (1. Geared rollers, 2. Little rover, 3. Wheel in the spool) to make it work and so far I am toward to the last option.
Little Rover only
Wheel in the spool
I have tired with two different actuators to rotate the spool; 1.DC geared motor and 2. servo motor.
DC geared motor
Note from the today’s brainstorming session.
Main things to consider now is:
How to set up the communication between the ground station and the flight - or what would be the alternative way that does not require any real-time remote communication?
As we venture beyond Earth's confines into the vast expanse of space, we encounter unique challenges that necessitate novel approaches to communication and interaction . One such challenge emerges within the realm of zero gravity and the multicultural environment of future space habitats, where conventional verbal communication and physical gestures undergo transformation, paving the way for innovative modes of connection.
This research proposal embarks on a journey to explore the uncharted territory of "Kinesthetic Communication in Zero Gravity." The goal of this research is to uncover the intricacies of non-verbal, tangible interaction between astronauts or individuals living in a space habitat within a microgravity environment, forging a bridge between Earth and space, or within the space habitat with a multicultural environment, transcending linguistic and cultural boundaries .
Tangible interactions and tactile communications enhance one’s sense of presence and social connectedness. Therefore, I propose the concept of "Tangible Telepresence (Fig.1)," which creates a feeling of physical and social presence in the real world across distances and time to reduce psychological distance. To achieve this, I plan to develop a modular kinesthetic language block that can be assembled to construct a dynamic, shape-changing structure and render various rhythmic motions with force-feedback. This system will be paired with an identical block/structure so that the overall shape and motions are synchronized in real-time to convey different non-verbal messages across distances.
The main research questions I aim to address through the Zero-G flight experiment are as follows:
How can we effectively deliver distinct perceived forces to individuals in Earth and Space environments (micro/hypergravity) via a kinesthetic connected interface?
What control parameters need adjustment to ensure that the paired devices render identical motion and force behavior for a dyad, with one individual residing on Earth and the other in a microgravity environment?
In a hyper/microgravity environment, what types of motion and structural elements are optimal for conveying clear and concise non-verbal messages to observers on Earth?
How can we use the proposed system to record Zero-G flight experiences and replay them, representing the motions through the proposed interface, to share with those who haven't experienced it?
The mechanism of this extendable module is inspired by a deployable boom structure (storable tubular extendible masts: STEM) used for satellite’s antenna  We plan to develop the boom structure (shown as yellow part in Fig. 2, 4) using carbon fiber fabric (unidirectional and plain weave) layers with epoxy that has a bi-stable structure.