Creating geometrical models for the haptic rendering of complex structures for visually impaired people


Competence Area "Technology, Culture, and Society", Start-Up Budget

Project duration:

1.5.2011 – 31.10.2011 (6 months)

Project partners:

The Study Centre for the Visually Impaired Students (SZS)
Building Lifecycle Management (BLM)
Engineering Mathematics and Computing Lab (EMCL)


The Study Centre for the Visually Impaired Students (SZS) is an internationally active institution which assists people with low vision and blind people during study and work. Through technical and methodical support, it opens new career opportunities to visually impaired students and scientists in areas of sciences, economics and engineering and is actively involved in the respective research areas.
What limits the access of partially or totally blind people to the contents of these science areas is, among other things, the restricted possibility to make available complex or dynamic geometrical information in a haptic manner. For instance, it is not yet possible to process the results of the flow simulations developed at the Engineering Mathematics and Computing Lab (EMCL) in such a way, that blind people can evaluate, interpret and meaningfully use these results in their work.
The Startup project addresses this issue and will design a procedure that will enable the quick creation of haptically displayed geometries. For this, force feedback tools will be adjusted and combined into a flexible user interface. Another question addressed by this project will be whether for some combinations of disability and displayed geometry, the haptic experience must be augmented by an auditory interface.