Let's Make Robots!

A Large Touch Surface Brainstorm

Something I was thinking about was what if you were to build a surface that had fast moving linear  sensors on the side. These sensors could be moved maybe with a stepper motor and a timing belt. So you have a sensor moving in the x direction and one in the y direction. Now you should be able to put your finger on this surface and the sensors would detected it. The x and y coordinates could be figured out and boom, you have a large touch surface. Maybe these sensors could be IR range sensors, or a laser and photo cell. I think it could be a fun idea to play with if I could get the sensors to move fast enough. Once the sensors found your finger, they would then make minute movements to follow your finger. This touch surface could then be used to control a robot with gestures. 

Practical? Crazy? Not going to work? Already been done? 

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I've seen that being done using a sheet of clear plastic, a camera and LEDs arround the edge, too.

It worked basically like this:

There is a processing library for this. Have a look here: http://www.tuio.org/?processing

 

I might end up tearing apart a wii controller to play with the camera if I can find a cheap one that will work. Will have to talk to The Carpenter, Grog, or Gareth to see if they found cheap ones that worked.