ScienceSuit FAQ

Answers to your questions
about the ScienceSuit haptic feedback hardware

About the ScienceSuit

What is the ScienceSuit?

The ScienceSuit is a flexible set of hardware components that allows researchers and product developers to add haptic feedback technology to an application or product of their choice, saving valuable development cost and time.

What applications does the ScienceSuit have?

You can use the ScienceSuit for any application that requires vibrotactile sensations (haptic feedback) on the body. To give you an example, our customers are using the haptic feedback for applications ranging from providing movement feedback to exoskeleton users, to helping visually impaired people communicate facial expressions, and augmenting keyhole surgery.

Similarly, we ourselves use the ScienceSuit hardware as initial building blocks for our own development projects and have used haptic feedback to improve matters as diverse as navigation, balance and neurosurgery. The possibilities are extensive!

On what parts of the body can I generate haptic feedback with the ScienceSuit?

You can use the OPSskin shirt or Velcro-enabled shirt to generate haptic feedback on the torso and the Velcro-enabled straps for the legs, arms and torso.

What options are there in terms of textile carriers and hardware options?

The ScienceSuit can be customised with any combination of 3 textile carriers (OPSskin shirt, Velcro-enabled shirt, Velcro-enabled straps ) and 2 haptic feedback options (9 or 16 tactor string with control module). Custom configurations are also possible, please contact us for a quote.

Purchasing the ScienceSuit

What is the delivery time?

The current estimated delivery time is 3 weeks.

How can I use ScienceSuit?

It has been used for a wide range of applications, have a look here to see what some of our current customers are doing with the ScienceSuit.

Can I request a product demonstration?

Of course, please contact us to arrange a convenient time. If you’re interested in a particular function or application, please mention this in the comments.

How much does the ScienceSuit cost?

You can find an overview of the prices of the various components here.

Can I order a customised ScienceSuit?

Absolutely, if you require a custom hardware configuration, please do not hesitate to contact us with your specific requirements.

Can I see the ScienceSuit’s technical specifications?

Please download the ScienceSuit spec sheet here. For further information, please contact us.

Is the ScienceSuit CE certified?

No, the ScienceSuit is not CE certified. It is a development kit meant for prototyping and experimentation. However, we can help you incorporate the ScienceSuit’s haptic technology into a CE certified end-product. Please contact us for more information.

Controlling the ScienceSuit

How can I control the ScienceSuit?

You can control the ScienceSuit through a wired USB connection or a wireless Bluetooth® 4.0 connection. The software is compatible with host devices (PC, smartphone, tablet) running on one of the following operating systems: Windows, Mac OS X or Linux.

How can I integrate the ScienceSuit in my experiment or product? Is it compatible with Java, C#, C++, etc.?

The ScienceSuit offers complete flexibility for researchers and product developers: its Java control software ‘HIDCom’ interacts with applications written in a wide variety of languages e.g., Java, C#, C++, Python, Matlab, Simulink, etc. Users can access both the hardware and software directly.

 

Can I use a Raspberry Pi to control the ScienceSuit?

Yes, you can. Quite a few of our customers are using a Raspberry Pi with the ScienceSuit.

Can I control the ScienceSuit from a mobile phone?

Yes, you can. A special Android application, called ElitacMain, is provided in the software suite. It works similarly to the control software ‘HIDCom’ that runs on Windows, Mac OS and Linux.

Can I order a customised ScienceSuit?

Absolutely, if you require a custom hardware configuration, please do not hesitate to contact us with your specific requirements.

Manipulating the haptic feedback

Can I change the haptic feedback patterns and create new ones?

Yes, absolutely. Aside from the predefined patterns, the ScienceSuit allows you to easily create custom patterns to suit your specific requirements. The software manual explains in detail how to define new vibration patterns using basic code.

Does it come with predefined templates and patterns?

Yes, the ScienceSuit comes with 9 predefined vibration patterns that have proved their effectiveness in our own research and experience developing haptic feedback wearables. Additionally, users can easily create custom patterns to suit their specific requirements.

What are the different intensity levels?

There are 16 different intensity levels, running from 0 to 15 on logarithmic scale. Level 0 is just above perception threshold, and level 15 is the maximum the haptic actuator can generate – it is strong enough to be felt through up to two layers of textile.

How can I develop the best set-up for my test or experiment?

We recommend you first experiment with the predefined haptic patterns and then try to create your own custom patterns and constellations. If you require further assistance in optimising your set-up, we have a number of support packages available. We have 45 years of combined experience developing haptic feedback wearables. Please contact us to find out more.

Can individual tactors be connected and disconnected as required?

No, this is not currently possible. However, aside from the standard 9 or 16 tactor strings, we do offer custom options. Please get in touch to discuss the possibilities.

Is it possible to control each tactor separately?

Yes, it is. Please refer to the software manual to find the required code.

Does the ScienceSuit support haptic interpolation?

Yes, absolutely, please refer to the software manual to find out how to define custom vibration patterns.

Note: Haptic interpolation refers to the perception of a vibration at a location on the skin between two or more neighbouring vibration actuators. The concept allows haptic sensations to be generated anywhere on a patch of skin that is covered by a set of haptic vibration actuators – not only underneath or at the location of an actuator.

For more information, please see our whitepaper on haptic interpolation. If you require a specific layout (constellation) of tactors to cover a body part and make use of interpolation, please contact us.

Using the ScienceSuit

How do I know if the ScienceSuit is charging?

The LED on the control module will show a continuous red light while charging.

How do I know when the ScienceSuit is fully charged?

The LED on the control module will show a continuous green light when fully charged.

Does the ScienceSuit come with a manual?

Yes, it comes with both a general operating manual and a software manual that provides instructions on how to connect, how to create new tactile patterns, how to create constellations, etc.

Do you have an example of the code needed to create new tactile patterns to get me started?

Yes, the installation file includes a code example in Java to illustrate the creation of a tactile pattern. Please refer to Elitac_UDPClient_Example_V1.1.jar in your installation files. It also provide examples for Python and Matlab.

Can I integrate the ScienceSuit with a pressure/audio/movement sensor, Arduino, etc? Is it plug and play?

Yes, our customers have integrated a wide range of sensors. It requires writing your own application to receive the sensor data, translate it to (modified) haptic patterns, and send the necessary commands to the software that controls the ScienceSuit. The procedure is described in the software manual. If you require further assistance in optimising your set-up, we have a number of support packages available. Please contact us to find out more.

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