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Arts & Culture

Margaret Minsky

People can recognise, by touch, 99% of common objects within 1 to 2 seconds (Susan J. Lederman & Roberta Klatzky, 1988).

Margaret Minsky’s research into haptic technologies – computational interfaces that enable you to touch and feel simulated objects – provided the early foundations for tactile feedback in virtual environments which are today used in computer gaming and sensory immersive experiences.

This collection of objects documents the development of the first technique for creating haptic textures, a Lateral-Force Algorithm, which Minsky undertook as part of her doctoral research at the MIT Media Lab.

These are the original force-feedback joystick and ping-pong joystick interfaces that she created as part of her research. The joystick simulates the physical building blocks of matter: spring, damper and mass, which can be felt by gripping the joystick handle.

Force-feedback joystick

4a. Force-Feedback Joystick, 1984-89

An integrated assembly of motors, metal linkages, and electronics connectors built into wooden/metal box.

4b. Pingpong Joystick interface, 1984-89

Pingpong Joystick interface, 1984-89

4c. Video demonstration of the Force Feedback Haptic Interface, 1984-89

4d. Photograph of Margaret Minsky, 1984-89

Margaret Minsky
Project status: Completed