Tangible bots: interaction with active tangibles in tabletop interfaces

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


We present interaction techniques for tangible tabletop interfaces that use active, motorized tangibles, what we call Tangible Bots. Tangible Bots can reflect changes in the digital model and assist users by haptic feedback, by correcting errors, by multi-touch control, and by allowing efficient interaction with multiple tangibles. A first study shows that Tangible Bots are usable for fine-grained manipulation (e.g., rotating tangibles to a particular orientation); for coarse movements, Tangible Bots become useful only when several tangibles are controlled simultaneously. Participants prefer Tangible Bots and find them less taxing than passive, non-motorized tangibles. A second study focuses on usefulness by studying how electronic musicians use Tangible Bots to create music with a tangible tabletop application. We conclude by discussing the further potential of active tangibles, and their relative benefits over passive tangibles and multi-touch.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 29th Annual Chi Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems : conference proceedings and extended abstracts
Number of pages10
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date2011
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-0228-9
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event29th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 7 May 201112 May 2011
Conference number: 29


Conference29th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - active tangibles, bidirectional interfaces, tangible user interfaces, user evaluation

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