Browse Prior Art Database

Three-Dimensional Input Device With Several Degrees of Freedom

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000036507D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-29
Document File: 3 page(s) / 71K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Kirkpatrick, ES: AUTHOR [+6]

Abstract

Disclosed is an analog input device for a computer, and more specifically a device which allows intuitive and versatile manipulation of three-dimensional graphic objects. The device is compact and provides high-resolution capability. It does not have the troublesome trailing cords (like mice).

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Three-Dimensional Input Device With Several Degrees of Freedom

Disclosed is an analog input device for a computer, and more specifically a device which allows intuitive and versatile manipulation of three-dimensional graphic objects. The device is compact and provides high-resolution capability. It does not have the troublesome trailing cords (like mice).

The device consists of a small box sitting on top of a stem. The user grasps the box and manipulates it to produce movement on the graphics screen. The box can represent the 3D "viewing volume".

The box can be rotated, producing a change in azimuth in the graphic screen object. The box can be pivoted up and down, producing a change in elevation in the graphic object. For these two actions, the stem has remained stationary. In some embodiments it is also possible to push the box down and up (which could cause the stem to sink and rise), and also it is possible to have the bottom of the stem either translate along an x-y track or pivot (like a joystick). These

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further degrees of freedom can be mapped to translation of the object. A button is placed on the box. Although the graphics takes place on the screen to which the device is interfaced, note that LCDs on the box can provide some visual output (such as a drawing of an axis system). Note that unlike the disclosed invention, a joystick can provide no feedback on the current relative viewpoint.

The device described here allows a user to input six degrees of graphical information to a host. The X, Y and Z movement, as well as the rotation about the X, Y and Z axis are output by this device. Fig. 1 shows the graphical output unit 1. A series of belts and pulleys 2 allow the stem 3 to be moved in the X and Y plane. The two potentiometers 4 in the lower right-hand corner feed this X and Y data to the host. A Y direction cover 5 and an X direction cover 6 slide over the unit and rotate with the stem 3. These cover the unit and exclude dust and contaminants. The handle 7 sits atop the stem and is held by the user for input. A slot 8 is formed in the stem to keep this handle from coming off the stem, and it also allows the handle to be moved up and down.

Fig. 2 shows the detail of the handle. The frame 9 is permanently attached to the Y hinge 10 which snaps around the back 11 and front 12 bushing. The front bushing contains a potentiometer to output rotation information. The X hinge 13 snaps onto the right bushing 14 and left bushing 15. The left bushing contains a potentiometer to output rotation information. The X hinge is permanently attached to the sliding cylinder 16 which is attached to the Z potentiometer 17. There is a linear analog output slide inside of the sliding cylinder to output Z direction movement. The Z potentiometer slides along the slot in the stem and outputs rotation about the Z axis.

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Thus, the handle can be moved in the X, Y and Z direction and also can be rotated about the X, Y and...