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Board 134: The HapConnect: Teaching about Haptics and Inclusive Design with Modular, Wearable Technology

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Division (MECH) Poster Session

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering Division (MECH)

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Paper Authors

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Bryan MacGavin Saint Louis University


Jennifer Lynne Tennison Saint Louis University

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Dr. Jen L. Tennison received her B.Sc. in Psychology (emphasis: cognitive science) from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2014 and her Ph.D. in Engineering (emphasis: mechanical engineering) from Saint Louis University in 2021. Her research interests span across human-machine interaction, human-computer interaction, engineering education, and game development.

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Jenna L. Gorlewicz Saint Louis University

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Jenna L. Gorlewicz received her B.S. in mechanical engineering from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2008, before pursuing her PhD in mechanical engineering at Vanderbilt University, where she worked in the Medical and Electromechanical Design

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Sridhar S. Condoor Saint Louis University

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Professor with a demonstrated history of working in the design innovation and technology entrepreneurship areas. Skilled in Innovation Management, Applied Research & Product Design, Entrepreneurship, and Training Next Generation Innovators and Entrepreneurs.

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In this paper, a learning module is introduced to teach undergraduate engineering students about the principles of haptics and inclusive design thinking through wearable technology. To that end, a novel wearable haptic (touch) device was created, referred to as the HapConnect, that contains modular vibration components for student teams to explore the use of haptics in a simple context, design and create their own versions of the device, and deploy it in a use-inspired setting. Through a series of lecture and hands-on design sessions, student teams were tasked with employing the HapConnect to navigate through a maze exclusively by the sense of touch. This paper evaluates student confidence in topics – such as haptics, human perception, wearable devices, and inclusive design – discussed throughout the module, feedback and performance of the HapConnect, and team design choices to complete their activity. Results indicate that student learning and confidence increased throughout the activity, while each team’s success in the maze was attributed to their differing design choices.

MacGavin, B., & Tennison, J. L., & Gorlewicz, J. L., & Condoor, S. S. (2023, June), Board 134: The HapConnect: Teaching about Haptics and Inclusive Design with Modular, Wearable Technology Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--42451

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