Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

Degree Granting Department

Mechanical Engineering

Major Professor

Kyle Reed, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Stephanie Carey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Don Dekker, Ph.D.


Bimanual, Rehabilitation, Pattern, Recognition, Perception


Two siblings have a muscular degenerative condition that has rendered them mostly blind, deaf and paraplegic. Currently, the siblings receive communication by close range sign language several feet in front of their vision. Due to the degenerative nature of their condition, it is believed that the siblings will eventually become completely blind and unable to communicate in this fashion. There are no augmented communication devices on the market that allow communication reception for individuals who cannot see, hear or possess hand dexterity (such as braille reading). To help the siblings communicate, the proposed communication device will transmit Morse code information tactically with vibration motors to either the forearm or bicep in the form of an armband wearable. However, no research has been done to determine the best haptic interface for displaying Morse code in a tactile modality. This research investigates multiple haptic interfaces that aim to alleviate common mistakes made in Morse code reception. The results show that a bimanual setup, discriminating dots/dashes by left/right location, yields 56.6% the amount of Morse code errors made under a unimanual setup of Morse code that uses temporal discrimination to distinguish dots and dashes. The bimanual condition resulted in less judgment interference that is either due to the brain having an easier time processing two separate tasks when judgments are shared between the hemispheres or a judgment buffer effect being present for temporal discrimination.