Researchers develop rotating controllers that will not distract the driver

Central multifunctional touch screens are increasingly replacing dedicated switches. Although the central multifunctional touch screen looks exquisite and has a lower production cost, it will distract the driver while driving. According to foreign media reports, in order to solve this problem, a research association of Cologne University of Technology (TH Köln) is developing a smart switch element whose operation will be more intuitive.


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Professor Matthias Böhmer of the TH Köln Cologne Institute of Digital Ecosystems explained that “when using the touch screen, the driver must determine whether he has detected his own command, which will distract the driver.” The purpose of the research project We are developing an intelligent rotation controller suitable for multi-function systems. The controller will be equipped with grip and gesture recognition, as well as tactile feedback, so that one-handed movements can control a large number of functions. B?hmer said, “Compared with the traditional touch screen, the controller is more intuitive, and it does not require visual observation when using it.” Compared with voice control, the controller can also execute commands faster and is robust to environmental noise. Awesome.

The project partners Brehmer GmbH and Omni Elektronik GmbH are responsible for hardware development. In order to ensure that the electromechanical systems and Electronic equipment used are not worn out, the sensors for grip strength and gesture recognition will be permanently installed in the fixed base of the instrument panel, which is encapsulated in a rotatable plastic casing. When the user moves the protective cover, the finger passes through the sensor and is detected by the sensor.

The TH Köln team is responsible for the development of grip strength and gesture recognition software. Researchers hope to use different numbers of fingers to turn, and turning gestures can control various functions. For example, two fingers can adjust the volume, three fingers can zoom in on the navigation system, and four fingers can adjust the air conditioner. For special turning gesture recognition, input possibilities should be expanded. For example, a fast back and forth movement action can be used to switch from the radio to the navigation system. In addition, tactile feedback, i.e. vibration, can additionally enhance intuitiveness.

In the first phase of the project, the researchers will determine the requirements for this type of rotation controller. This involves the design of the controller in the human-machine context. In other words, how big must the controller be to use a different number of fingers? How to identify how the user uses the controller? For example, if a rotating movement starts with five fingers but ends with four fingers, what will happen? Researchers will conduct preliminary discussions on these and other issues.

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