News


Patent Granted

posted Jun 16, 2015, 4:42 AM by Andrew Barker

Patent 2012202737 was granted on 9 October 2014. 


Patent Filed

posted Sep 6, 2012, 4:07 AM by Andrew Barker

The complete patent application was filed 15 May 2012 and has been allocated the application number 2012202737.

Update - 3D PDF

posted Nov 14, 2011, 5:16 PM by Andrew Barker

I have posted a 3D PDF of the prototype here.  Don't view it inside your browser, the 3D won't work.  Download it then click on the image to activate 3D view then click and drag to rotate the view.  It won't work on an iPad.  

Feedback from Ilian Bonev

posted Nov 14, 2011, 4:48 PM by Andrew Barker

Here are some comments from Ilian Bonev (http://profs.etsmtl.ca/ibonev/bonev_i_en.html) who was kind enough to share his thoughts.  Professor Bonev conducts research into parallel robots and is the Canada Research Chair in Precision Robotics.  

On 23/08/2011, at 2:38 AM, <Ilian.Bonev@etsmtl.ca> wrote:

... That said, I think that your design is great! How did you come up with this? This is the kind of design that one can expect from a big robotics lab. I am totally impressed (I would have wasted my time otherwise)! Have you thought about publishing your work in some journal? I think that your design can have other applications too...

Update - Animation

posted Aug 17, 2011, 1:17 AM by Andrew Barker

I have added an animation of the mechanism movement on the Demonstration page.  

Some comments from Bill Buxton

posted Jul 25, 2011, 4:49 AM by Andrew Barker

I recently received some feedback from Bill Buxton, a principal researcher at Microsoft and winner of an ACM SIGCHI Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions in the field of Human-Computer Interaction.  His unedited email, with his consent, appears below.  



Subject RE: new input device

Sender Bill Buxton 

Recipient andrew@nautamouse.com 

Date 18.07.2011 08:06



Thanks for your note and the pointers to the accompanying videos and web pages.

 

First, nice job in terms of working this stuff out and assembling the prototype independently.  You clearly have good skills in terms of both the hardware and software side of things.

 

Likewise, your having done the research to be aware of Shumin's work shows good scholarship.

 

Having said that, there are a number of issues that are still open, and that one would want/need to consider before thinking about commercializing the device, or making claims regarding its performance, price, etc.

 

In no particular order, some quick comments, as you requested:

 

·         There is a pretty large discrepancy between the large prototype and the small device shown on your home page, and your comments on how small you could make this.  Since very different muscle groups and postures would be used in devices of different sizes, one cannot assume that what works for one will work as well in another format.  Among other things, the range of motion, in absolute terms, as opposed to % of size, will have an impact.

·         Your characterization of some of the competitive devices (especially the SpaceMouse/Magellan suggests to me that you have never handled one, much less used it.  It does, in fact, have a degree of elasticity which makes it have many of the attributes, in terms of feedback, that you describe.

·         Your claims about lower cost of manufacturing also need to be taken with a grain of salt – unless you can demonstrate that you have done a thorough analysis of costs of both parts and manufacturing for the whole product (the sensors are just a small part of the whole thing).  One of the things that Logitech has done with the original SpaceMouse/Magellan is reduce the cost to the point where much of the basic capabilities are, in fact, available at a price point where the technology can apply to the games market.  And, you have no way of knowing, I suspect, what their actual cost structure is – for all you or I know, they may sell it at a price that they know the market will accept, and which gives them very high margin, and therefore, the ability to drop costs if a viable competitor appears on the market.

·         In looking at your videos, even using the large prototype, I don’t see the smooth, coordinated/integrate multi-dimensional movement that I would expect from a high DOF device.  That might just be the demo.

·         I would NEVER make claims of one device performing better than another until I had clear objective comparative data that demonstrated the benefit, compared to the competition, and furthermore, which was accompanied by a coherent argument which suggested when, why and for whom, the new technology works better. 

·         Furthermore, until you can also say when your device performs worse than the competitors, why, when, for whom, etc., then again, you are not ready to make supportable claims about the performance of your device.

·         The basic rule is that everything is best for something and worst for something else.   Unless on knows both sides of their own technology, they don’t yet fully understand it.

·         As I see it, you are not sure where you are in this project in terms of the research and development, business analysis, and then marketing.  Most of your claims are marketing, which appear to be placing the cart before the horse (really, who cares if one has to wait a moment for a driver to load if the result gives real value?).  

o   First, understand the device and its true properties.

o   Second, do a proper analysis to determine who actually needs/wants a 6DOF controller.  Is there a market worth consuming 6 years of your life, at the expense of almost everything else?  Why have most such products failed, and those that remain only sell into niche markets?  Is there room for another player, and if so, is that space big enough to be worth pursuing?  Why do almost no users of the most popular 3D packages, such as Maya or Studio Tools not use 6DOF devices, even though they are affordable?  What software out there can even take advantage of such a device, even if it did exist?  My experience as Chief Scientist at both SGI and Alias|Wavefront suggests that the lack of applications is one of the key reasons that these technologies are taking off.

o   Third, determine the real cost structure.  The cost of manufacturing is not trivial, but it is only an often small portion of the cost of an in-the-hands-of-a-customer product.

o   Fourth, be clear that none of this is ultimately about technology or devices;  rather, it is about customer experience and satisfaction.  There is a clear cost-benefit analysis that drives such things, and until you have a solid understanding the cost and benefit of your concept, for all parties in the ecosystem – from suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, customers, shareholders, etc. – it is a very dubious decision to take the plunge to commercialize. 

·         What you show is interesting, and fleshed out with testing, something that would be at the level of a good Masters project.  Valuable, excellent experience, great training, and a solid demonstration of creative and technical competence.

·         There may be a great business opportunity here, and if – given the above – you think that you see one, then fantastic.  But one last word of caution:  do not confuse a good, or even great, technology, with a good or possibly great product.  And most of all, do not confuse a good or great product with a good or great business.  These are all very different things, but also things that are too often confused.

·         My rule is this:  It is my job to have a lot of good ideas.  If I ran with any one of them, even a really good one, I have to (and do) understand that it is going to be at the expense of the next dozen or even 100, that I might have otherwise have had.  So, before running with an idea, you have to be confident that it is better than all of the ideas that you might otherwise have in the next 3-5 years.  If you are sure of that, then go for it.  If not, that still may be worth doing, but I would really want to have a compelling  reason as to why I believed that.

 

None of this is criticizing your device or approach.  You have a lot of work to do on the device, just to understand its essence.  What prompted this longer email is my concern that you are hyping it prematurely, which again, is marketing, and is keeping you from doing the hard work in the back room that would enable you to discover if you really have something, or not, and if you do, have the data that will enable you to convince serious investors.  They don’t fund marketing. 

 

Good luck.  Thanks again for writing.



And my reply:


From: Andrew Barker [mailto:andrew@nautamouse.com] 
Sent: Sunday, July 24, 2011 2:44 PM
To: Bill Buxton
Subject: Re: new input device

 

Wow, thank you for the detailed feedback, I really appreciate it.

 

I take your point about making comparisons with existing devices.  

 

I have given a lot of thought as to why 6DOF devices are not more widely used.  Like you say, there are not the applications to support them.  But I think that users are now more ready than before for a 6DOF input device due to their familiarity with 3D games, Google Earth and pseudo 3D interfaces.  I realise that most input tasks do not require 6 DOFs, but the benefit of using a 6DOF device would lie in the flexibility of having those DOFs available to the task at hand, and ignoring/restricting input received from the unused DOFs.  

 

What I have learnt from programming my 6DOF device is that there is significant adjusting of input required behind the scenes in order for the output to appear intuitive, responsive and expected for the input task the user is currently involved in.  For example, whether the input is in position or rate mode, the sensitivity and range of each individual DOF, whether a dead zone is applied, if input from one or more DOFs is even used, and mapping of  movements to other modes of input.  Aside from manufacturing, business and marketing aspects, this "behind the scenes" implementation would be crucial to the success of the device.  

 

You are correct in saying that the website is about marketing; I need outside help to take it further.  I'm not trying to over-hype it, just generate some interest.  

 

Thanks again for the comments, you've given me a lot to think about.  Please forward the website link to anyone you think may find it interesting.  

 

Andrew


ManyMouse

posted Jul 17, 2011, 5:53 AM by Andrew Barker

The Nautamouse gets a mention on the ManyMouse homepage, http://icculus.org/manymouse/.

Website Live!

posted Jul 9, 2011, 8:13 PM by Andrew Barker

Nautamouse.com is live.

Test

posted Jul 3, 2011, 1:24 AM by Andrew Barker

Site under construction.

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