Many crafts are based on fine motor control and hand-eye coordination. Mastering new skills requires a lot of practice, and some tasks can take years to reach the desired proficiency. But while imitation is the usual way of learning, nothing is more effective than having an expert guide the student’s hand through the specific gesture to be performed – at first with a firm grip, but then with a progressively lighter grip as the student gains confidence.
Force Dimension haptic devices can be combined with gesture teaching software in a collaborative environment to do just that, for example in the teaching of chinese ideograms. First, the haptic device fully constraints the gesture of the student, who can only follow the guidance provided by the device. But progressively, the device input becomes more flexible, only correcting mistakes as the student gains skills and increases accuracy. Eventually, the device is purely passive and is used to assess the performance of the student without any guidance.