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Tim Dünte is a researcher in the Human-Computer Interaction Group at the University of Hannover. He is interested in on-skin technologies, with an focus on how to turn the users body into an input/output device for a more natural human computer interaction. He is interested in "Electrical Muscle Stimulation" (EMS) as an interaction, and feedback technique as in Electromyography (EMG) as an input technology.
During his studies he focused on Human-Computer Interaction, Systems Engineering and Software Engineering. He worked for two years as a student research assistant on projects, which ended in the development of a Prototyping Toolkit for EMS (see our paper below for more information). After finishing his studies he joined the Human Computer Interaction Group in November '16.
Zap++: A 20-Channel Electrical Muscle Stimulation System for Fine-Grained Wearable Force Feedback
Proceedings of the 19th international conference on Human-computer interaction with mobile devices and services adjunct - MobileHCI '17 Adjunct
Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) has been used successfully in HCI to generate force feedback and simple movements both in stationary and mobile settings. However, many natural limb movements require the coordinated actuation of multiple muscles. Off-the-shelf EMS devices are typically limited in their ability to generate fine-grained movements, because they only have a low number of channels and do not provide full control over the EMS parameters. More capable medical devices are not designed for mobile use or still have a lower number of channels and less control than is desirable for HCI research. In this paper we present the concept and a prototype of a 20-channel mobile EMS system that offers full control over the EMS parameters. We discuss the requirements of wearable multi-electrode EMS systems and present the design and technical evaluation of our prototype. We further outline several application scenarios and discuss safety and certification issues.
Let Your Body Move: A Prototyping Toolkit for Wearable Force Feedback with Electrical Muscle Stimulation
Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services
Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) is a promising wearable haptic output technology as it can be miniaturized considerably and delivers a wide range of haptic output. However, prototyping EMS applications is challenging. It requires detailed knowledge and skills about hardware, software, and physiological characteristics. To simplify prototyping with EMS in mobile and wearable situations we present the Let Your Body Move toolkit. It consists of (1) a hardware control module with Bluetooth communication that uses off-the-shelf EMS devices as signal generators, (2) a simple communications protocol to connect mobile devices, and (3) a set of control applications as starting points for EMS prototyping. We describe EMS-specific parameters, electrode placements on the skin, and user calibration. The toolkit was evaluated in a workshop with 10 researchers in haptics. The results show that the toolkit allows to quickly generate non-trivial prototypes. The hardware schematics and software components are available as open source software.
Cruise Control for Pedestrians: Controlling Walking Direction using Electrical Muscle Stimulation
Proc. of CHI 2015
Pedestrian navigation systems require users to perceive, interpret, and react to navigation information. This can tax cognition as navigation information competes with information from the real world. We propose actuated navigation, a new kind of pedestrian navigation in which the user does not need to attend to the navigation task at all. An actuation signal is directly sent to the human motor system to influence walking direction. To achieve this goal we stimulate the sartorius muscle using electrical muscle stimulation. The rotation occurs during the swing phase of the leg and can easily be counteracted. The user therefore stays in control. We discuss the properties of actuated navigation and present a lab study on identifying basic parameters of the technique as well as an outdoor study in a park. The results show that our approach changes a user's walking direction by about 16 degree/m on average and that the system can successfully steer users in a park with crowded areas, distractions, obstacles, and uneven ground.
On-skin Technologies for Muscle Sensing and Actuation
Proceedings of the 2016 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing: Adjunct
Electromyography (EMG) and electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) are promising technologies for muscle sensing and actuation in wearable interfaces. The required electrodes can be manufactured to form a thin layer on the skin. We discuss requirements and approaches for EMG and EMS as on-skin technologies. In particular, we focus on fine-grained muscle sensing and actuation with an electrode grid on the lower arm. We discuss a prototype, scenarios, and open issues.
A Wearable Force Feedback Toolkit with Electrical Muscle Stimulation
CHI '16 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems on - CHI EA '16
Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) is a promising wearable haptic output technology as it can be miniaturized and delivers a wide range of tactile and force output. However, prototyping EMS applications is currently challenging and requires detailed knowledge about EMS. We present a toolkit that simplifies prototyping with EMS and serves as a starting point for experimentation and user studies. It consists of (1) a hardware control module that uses off-the-shelf EMS devices as safe signal generators, (2) a simple communication protocol, and (3) a set of control applications for prototyping. The interactivity allows hands-on experimentation with our sample control applications.