Documentary about the design process of Aro
Documentary about the design process of Aro
Aro & app.
Haptic system detail. Under the green Pad is the Haptic Module. 3D printed
Digital sketchbook about the design and engineering process of Aro.
Prototypes of the iteration process of the design. From a small ring to the band.
What it does
Aro talks to your skin with the purpose of guide you in your trips without the need of looking to a screen or hear indications. Is a perfect complement for people with sensorial disabilities and that people that have to drive daily to new locations.
I was skating in Macba, Barcelona when I saw a blind guy with a white cane skating! (@the_blind_rider) Using the touch he is able to understand the space and the shape of his skateboard. Since this moment I start to learn and understand how is living without vision. I realised about all the problems they have to face out. With some friends I founded Tuso Haptics with the aim of use touch sense to broke accessibility barriers but... when we started to test our technology in guiding and mobility with disabled people we found that this device could prevent traffic accidents... is useful for everybody.
How it works
Aro has a built-in haptic system composed by three mechanical actuators that recreates analogical waves. These waves contain information like intensity, location and frequency. We are able to create intuitive sensations playing with these variables. Simply the user order a destiny by talking to the device or smartphone and start to walk. When our App detects a new indication, this indication is translated to our code and sent at the best moment the user can feel it. It’s like somebody is leading you by the hand. There are different orientations modes, like GPS indication or Compass. Aro is able to solve even more difficult street situations thanks to dynamic actuation. In the top part there are a touchpad that interact with the device in different ways. Projected to be easy to wear by anyone and enjoyable by the touch due to his asymmetry and surface finish. Aro will be available in different power and sizes.
The design process was complicated as we are students but by testing and iterating, we reach a nice version that works fine, is comfortable and easy to understand. We started with a Glove called Ganto that has the same technology. Then we tried with a ring, bracelet... until we decided that the arm is the best place in both sides (not the wrist). After this we had to solve many technical challenges, like system adhesion, battery duration, Bluetooth communication, modules assembly... All the process was supported by 3D printing and educational CAD software. At the same time Tuso project was built and promoted so we could attract more blind people in order to make further tests. Aro is still in development in order to reach the final FDM manufacturable version with same quality that an Industrial manufactured product. Also we're improving the functionality at high speed travel (like cars, motorbikes...). All our prototypes were done with recycled materials and the final version will be also produced by these.
How it is different
Aro is co-designed with sensorial disabled people. They have a super accentuated touch sense that allows us to go deep to the design. Aro only use touch interactions to transmit the information avoiding the use of screens or speakers. In the market there aren't nice haptics interfaces, there are similar things but with old vibration systems (ERM). With the idea of impact in the haptic scenario, we will release our software as Open Source. Aro is not only a product, is a tool that could improve the life of sensorial disabled people in social and working terms and at the same time protects no-disabled people of be disabled cause of a traffic accident meanwhile help you to reach your destiny faster. The manufacturing process also differs from an Industrial one, allowing us to control and reduce the carbon footprint.
We hope to launch Aro next year and before that make a Crowdfunding campaing. Aro is able to receive software updates adding new features. This will be possible by our team Tuso and the Community because our software will be Open Source. Also Ganto is still under develop with the aim of create a High resolution Haptic Interface for Future purpose.
Aro doesn't have prizes, but his precessor Ganto yes. Awared with the first prize in the contest Diseño Industrial Andaluz 2019.