Kinesthetic Learning-Haptic User Interfaces for Gyroscopic Precession Simulation

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Romanian Journal of Human Computer Interaction


Some forces in nature are difficult to comprehend due to their non-intuitive and abstract nature. Forces driving gyroscopic precession are invisible, yet their effect is very important in a variety of applications, from space navigation to motion tracking. Current technological advancements in haptic interfaces, enables development of revolutionary user interfaces, combining multiple modalities: tactile, visual and auditory. Tactile augmented user interfaces have been deployed in a variety of areas, from surgical training to elementary education. This research provides an overview of haptic user interfaces in higher education, and presents the development and assessment of a haptic-user interface that supports the learner's understanding of gyroscopic precession forces. The visual-haptic simulator proposed, is one module from a series of simulators targeted at complex concept representation, using multi-modal user interfaces. Various higher education domains, from classical physics to mechanical engineering, will benefit from the mainstream adoption of multi-modal interfaces for hands-on training and content delivery. Experimental results are promising, and underline the valuable impact that haptic user interfaces have on enabling abstract concepts understanding, through kinesthetic learning and hands-on practice.