Digital Pinscreen

Hi Guys,

I’m currently doing a bit of research into trying to develop a tactile device and trying to create a digital pinscreen.

I would love to get some ideas from the community into how best to create this, or would love to see some previous projects trying to tackle a similar object.



You want to move the pins? Or sense the pins that are moved?

Move the pins. Essentially would like to do something similar to this:

Hmm, I don't know how you'd actually move little pins like that. Maybe have a little array of servos to move a flexible tube up & down in a shaft that ends at the grid. LIttle servo's like this

How big is this pin array going to be and will it need to be 3D where pins extend to different lengths or 2.5D as used by the Braille link you supplied where the pins are either up or down?

Look into how dot matrix printheads work. They are electro-magnets that push and pull the pins. Though, these are digital meaning they are either fully pushed out or pulled in. If you were to use a spring on every pin pushing them back out, varying the strength of the magnet to attract the pin might provide some degree of analog, perhaps. I would experiment with a larger scale 4 x 4 grid first. The real difficulty would be in actually making it.

One idea that comes to mind would be making each little pin a piston controlled by a little fluid 'bulb'. By deforming the bulb, you would provide pressure to extend the pin. A piezo may be enough to deform the bulb. Based on the physics of hyrdaulics, you would need to design it so that very little movement is needed to move the needle a lot. Similar to this, but in reverse: