ActuBoard: An Open Rapid Prototyping Platform to Integrate Hardware Actuators in Remote Applications

Günther, Sebastian and Müller, Florian and Hübner, Felix and Mühlhäuser, Max and Matviienko, Andrii

Abstract: Prototyping is an essential step in developing tangible experiences and novel devices, ranging from haptic feedback to wearables. However, prototyping of actuated devices nowadays often requires repetitive and time-consuming steps, such as wiring, soldering, and programming basic communication, before HCI researchers and designers can focus on their primary interest: designing interaction. In this paper, we present ActuBoard, a prototyping platform to support 1) quick assembly, 2) less preparation work, and 3) the inclusion of non-tech-savvy users. With ActuBoard, users are not required to create complex circuitry, write a single line of firmware, or implementing communication protocols. Acknowledging existing systems, our platform combines the flexibility of low-level microcontrollers and ease-of-use of abstracted tinker platforms to control actuators from separate applications. As further contribution, we highlight the technical specifications and published the ActuBoard platform as Open Source.