Dr. Craig Shultz
Postdoctoral Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University
Joint CS/ECE Faculty Candidate Seminar
Wednesday, March 1, 2023, 10:00-11:00am
2405 Siebel Center and Via Zoom
Title: New Actuation for Next Generation Haptic Interfaces
Abstract: Our hands serve as our connection to the physical world. They enable us to wield tools, dexterously manipulate our environment, interact with computers, and communicate with others. Seeking to extend this connection to the digital world, researchers in haptics – the study of touch – have spent decades building sophisticated force feedback devices for our hands. However, these devices have seen limited societal impact due to the fact that they are bulky, complicated, and difficult to implement at scale. Conversely, mainstream consumer devices, which use rudimentary vibration motors, have an impact on billions of users everyday, but only offer simple buzzes and clicks, falling far short of our hands' tactile capabilities. In my research, I aim to close the gap between our physical and digital haptic worlds by engineering new ways to render complex mechanical energy to the skin. Leveraging diverse transduction phenomena from fields such as tribology, aerodynamics, and microfluidics, I prototype, model, and optimize novel haptic devices, which I then test and validate with users. The results of my work are technologies that move far beyond the clicks and buzzes we are familiar with today. In my talk, I will discuss three technologies – electroadhesive surfaces, synthetic jet actuators, and flat panel electrokinetic displays – which are compact and scalable yet remain perceptually rich. This combination opens the door to their inclusion in future consumer devices and emerging human-computer interaction (HCI) and human-robot interaction (HRI) applications such as surface computing, immersive virtual training, human-in-the-loop telemanipulation, and mixed reality spatial computing.
Craig Shultz is a postdoctoral fellow at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He holds a B.S. in electrical engineering, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Northwestern, where he also taught classes on physical and digital interaction design. His research lies at the intersection of haptic perception, interactive embedded systems, and human-computer interaction (HCI), as he aims to unlock the power of touch in domains such as education, training, medicine, telepresence, gaming, entertainment, and accessibility. Before CMU, Craig was VP of R&D at Tanvas, a startup based on his thesis work, where he collaborated with leading automotive, consumer electronics, and display manufacturers to evaluate and implement innovative high performance tactile touchscreen hardware and software experiences in their products. Craig is a former Segal Design Fellow, current Swartz Innovation Commercialization Fellow and winner of 6 best paper awards and nominations from leading ACM and IEEE venues. His work has been featured widely in the media by venues such as NBC Nightly News, Today Show, Gizmodo, Popular Mechanics, Scientific American, Make Magazine, CNET, TechCrunch, Popular Science, and others.