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ME 20N: Haptics: Engineering Touch


Welcome to ME 20N: Haptics: Engineering Touch. In this class, we will study the design and control of haptic systems, which provide touch feedback to human users interacting with virtual environments and teleoperated robots. This class is a Freshman Introductory Seminar, and is aimed toward students with interests in engineering, computer science, and human-machine interaction. This class requires high school physics (non-calculus-based) and pre-calculus. Attendance is required if you are taking the class. Due to the interactive nature and laboratory aspect of this class, we cannot accommodate auditors . Course information and policies are contained in the syllabus. This is an introductory course designed for Freshman. For more advanced haptics courses, see ME 327 Design and Control of Haptic Systems (usually taught every other Spring quarter) and CS 277 Experimental Haptics (usually taught in Winter quarter). An abbreviated self-paced online version of the class will also be offered starting in Autumn 2014.

The instructor is Allison Okamura, Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. Allison has been a professor in the fields of haptics and medical robotics for about 14 years. There is no teaching assistant for this class, but Mechanical Engineering undergraduate students Jeanny Wang and Akzl Pultorak are contributing as Course Development Assistants. Melisa Orta, Tania Morimoto and Prof. Paulo Blikstein contributed to the course materials and content. Additionally, previous ME 20N students helped out as coaches for this year's students.

Lectures/LabsTuesdays and Thursdays 1:15-3:05 pm in Building 520, Room 145 (also known as the d'Arbeloff Teaching Lab)
Allison's Office HoursMondays 11:00 am - 12:00 pm and Thursdays 3:05 pm - 4:00 pm in 550-107 or in the lab when needed)

Lecture and Lab Materials

Lecture and lab materials are hosted on the Stanford online class system. Students in the class should register by clicking on this link. (If you are not a student in the class, you are welcome to access most of these materials via the public, free online class: Introduction to Haptics.)

Students in the class will use Hapkit, a new haptic device created specifically for teaching Haptics.


The final project for this class involves creating a novel haptic device that could be used to enhance human interaction with computers, mobile devices, or remote-controlled robots. Please join us on Thursday Dec. 4 from 1:15 to 2:00 pm in Building 524, Room 145 for our Haptics Open House -- hands-on demonstrations of the haptics projects.

The students will demonstrate 7 unique projects. Click here for an announcement about the Haptics Open House.

Final project reports (with open-source software and hardware designs) are available at:

Congratulations to all the ME 20N students on their projects!