Handwriting Helper

An LCD display overlayed on a graphics tablet with an array of electro-magnets underneath. The magnetic array guides the stylus.

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The display shows the letters to follow the same as in many handwriting apps. The child then uses the stylus to trace the letters. The graphics tablet will pick up the position of the stylus with respect to the ideal position. The error will be calculated and a corrective force will be applied with the magnetic array. A graphics tablet will be used as opposed to a capacitive touch screen to ignore the child's hand. The magnetic array would be similar to the hackaday post for 'micro-robots are crazy awsome'. That is what gave me the idea. The main problem I can imagine is the separation distance between the magnet in the stylus and the magnetic array. The display and digitizer will need to be very thin. I can also imagine some issues between the magnetic flux to pick up position and that to provide force feedback but one will be 'steady' the other will be 'alternating'. Any thoughts?

I have done some more research and found that most normal tablets can do palm rejection with a standard conductive rubber stylus. I will try this out with a neodymium magnet embedded to check for interference then work on the electro-magnet array.

  • The force is not so strong with this one!

    Jim Hough08/07/2014 at 12:20 0 comments

    After some testing I have found the force to be far too low to act in the way I was intending for this project. I think the next best way of achieving my goal is to move either a permanent magnet or big electro-magnet around under the writing surface. More testing to follow.

  • Constructing the electro-magnet array

    Jim Hough07/27/2014 at 21:47 0 comments

    I have decided to try winding lots of individual coils for the electromagnet array. I think that the magnetic force will need to be quite strong to have a good guiding effect. I have some fine enameled wire and one of those 'pin-art' things. I'm going to try winding a fixed length of wire on to each pin and then connect them up like an LED matrix. I think the coils will each need a series diode to work in this manner but would actually like to be able to pull and push the stylus magnet so bi-directional current would be good. Winding all of those pins and keeping track of the wire ends is probably going to send me mad! I actually want the final version to be a much bigger but am testing the theory with this small one. 

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