Created by Felix Ros, Stewart is a hypothetical tactile interface designed for a fully autonomous car. Working around the idea that even thought self-driving offer obvious benefits, they also eliminate a sense of freedom, expression, and control while driving. Stewart’s objective is to accommodate a healthy relation between man and machine.
So why would you want to control a car that drives itself? Learning to trust a (new) technology takes time. Humans are very unpredictable creatures that tend to change their minds frequently. For example: while driving you want to make a detour or you may need a coffee break. These changes of plan can easily be communicated to the car trough Stewart.
The device has been designed to provide the user with constant updates about the car’s behaviour and its intentions. If one does not agree with the car’s next course of action, the user can manipulate Stewart to change this. Stewart will learn from the driver as they learn from Stewart, hopefully resulting in a mutually trustful relation.
Stewart uses software designed for a platform that uses 6 servo’s controlled by an Arduino. Inspired by Felix’s previous projects (one, two, three, four), Processing sketch (available here) calculates the transition of all the six degrees of freedom and feeds the information to Arduino, controlling the servos. Felix has made step by step process of making Stewart available on Instructables and you can find out more here.
Stewart is Felix’s Final Bachelor Project at the Eindhoven University of Technology / Department of Industrial Design, 2015.