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ET-RT 1.0 under development October 18, 2016

Posted by Bill Bigge in General, Technical.
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A new version of the Enactive Torch is under development at Creative Robotics. Its be slightly renamed as the ‘Enactive Torch Research Tool’ or ET-RT in order to reset the slightly muddled version numbering system used with the old devices.

An initial set of boards are in the process of being tested and a fancy new case is being 3D printed for it.

The new design is based around the ATMega32u4 micro-controller and it incorporates a 9 degree of freedom inertial sensor module so that a full set of motion and orientation data can be captured and streamed back to a computer using the integrated Bluetooth radio. The inertial sensor provides three axis each of acceleration, rotation and geomagnetic field sensing and these can be combined on the device to track the precise orientation of the Enactive Torch.

It also has an adjustable sensor head and makes use of newer Linear Resonant Actuators – LRA’s – to provide the haptic feedback. The ET-RT can drive two LRA’s independently, it has one mounted internally plus a pair of jack sockets for attaching two external ones, one of which will override the internal LRA. It comes with a 1000mAh Lithium battery and can be recharged from the USB port.

As with the old device this one is programmable via USB using the free Arduino IDE. The entire project is open source so the software will be made available along with the design files for the case and PCB.

Render and Features


How to get an Enactive Torch August 14, 2014

Posted by Tom Froese in General, Technical.
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There are two ways of obtaining an Enactive Torch:

1) For people with experience in engineering and electronics, there is the option of building your own device. We manage the Enactive Torch as an open source project, so all the technical details are freely available.

2) For people who do not have the time or experience to build their own Enactive Torch, they can also buy one from Creative Robotics. Please contact them at the following e-mail address: sales@creative-robotics.com.

Thank you for your interest!

IEEE Haptics Podcast on the Enactive Torch January 11, 2013

Posted by Tom Froese in General, Presentations, Publications.
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Our paper on the Enactive Torch, entitled The Enactive Torch: A New Tool for the Science of Perception, which was published in IEEE Transactions on Haptics, is discussed in that journal’s latest podcast. The coverage starts at 11:00.

Tech sheet for Enactive Torch February 7, 2012

Posted by Tom Froese in General.
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The website of Creative Robotics Ltd is currently undergoing some maintenance work. In the meantime here are the technical specs of the latest Enactive Torch v3.0.

As before, you can use this information to build your own Enactive Torch under the Creative Commons license, or you can contact Bill Bigge directly to order one ready made.

How do I obtain an Enactive Torch? October 26, 2011

Posted by Tom Froese in General.
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When demonstrating the Enactive Torch at various public events we frequently receive inquiries about the possibility of obtaining ETs for research purposes.

The About page has now been updated to give information about the 3 ways in which you can get your hands on an Enactive Torch (for non-commercial purposes only):

  1. You can build an Enactive Torch given the information provided by Creative Robotics Ltd
  2. You can contact us to receive an Enactive Torch on a short loan
  3. You can contact us to buy an Enactive Torch at cost price

Our hope is that this will facilitate the spread of enactive interfaces and thereby raise awareness about the need for designing technology with consciousness in mind.

General updates October 14, 2011

Posted by Tom Froese in General, Presentations, Publications.
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New references have been added to the Publications, Presentations, and Literature pages.

More updates coming soon!

New: Literature page added May 30, 2011

Posted by Tom Froese in General.
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A new literature page has been added to this blog. This page will list publications which make reference to our work with the Enactive Torch.

New Enactive Torches unveiled October 19, 2010

Posted by Tom Froese in General.
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Thanks to an immense coordination effort involving Anil Seth, Bill Bigge, Adam Spiers, Marek McGann and myself we have finally managed to complete the next generation of Enactive Torches and started some psychological experiments.

The new ETs have been designed by Bill Bigge, who switched the controller for an Arduino for ease of programming and created a printed-circuit board in order to make the assembly of additional units more affordable and faster. The rest of the new ET mostly follows the design of the ones previously designed by Adam Spiers and Tom Froese (e.g. distance sensor, vibro-tactile output, bluetooth connectivity, accelerometers, hand-held design).

Two additional difference is that the ultrasonic sensors have been replaced by infrared sensors, as we found these to give more reliable distance measurements. Also, in order to prevent the vibro-tactile response from interfering with the accelerometers, Bill has placed the motors on a velcro strap that can be placed on the arm away from the device.

We are in the middle of writing up the first batch of experiments, so I won’t say more about that just yet. In the meantime here are some pictures of the new Enactive Torches.

Toward a PCB February 11, 2010

Posted by Tom Froese in General.
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There’s been a long silence on this blog, but in the background the activity has been ongoing. There was some extensive discussion about whether the Enactive Torch could play a supporting role in a funded project on immersive performance art, but for various reasons this did not happen in the end.

At the same time, Bill Bigge at the University of Sussex has taken on the task of developing a printed circuit board (PCB) for the latest version of the Enactive Torch. The idea is that once this is done it will be much cheaper and easier to build additional devices.

There’s also talk about starting a series of psychological experiments on the long-term effects of Enactive Torch usage. In particular it would be interesting to get a more accurate phenomenological description of the developing perceptual experience.

More updates to follow as they become available!

ET3 unveiled April 6, 2009

Posted by Ad Spiers in General, Presentations.
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The latest Enactive Torch prototype (ET3) was unveiled at the e-sense workshop held at the end of March. 



This version of the Enactive torch features live data streaming over Bluetooth which allows an experimenter to remotely observe and record a participant’s use of the torch. ET3 is also much more robust than the last prototype in a number of ways and many successful efforts have been made to reduce noise throughout the device. As in ET2 a number of distance / stimulation profiles are implemented in the device which can be easily selected during the experiment. The device also has lower power consumption so uses fewer batteries than the last Enactive Torch prototype (over the course of the entire workshop the torch showed no signs of running low on power).

ET3 meets all the technical goals that were originally proposed at the start of work on the Enactive Torch. Once the design of this torch has been finalised into a production-ready version, we hope to be able to start making enactive torches on demand for laboratories that wish to use the device in their research.