The "Sensitive Pen" is a project born from the collaboration between the DVIC and the Motion Lab of the CRI (Centre de Recherche Interdisciplinaire, Université de Paris).
It is within the framework of a thesis carried out at the CRI by Ana Phelippeau (psychomotrician and doctoral student), supervised by Joël Chevrier (professor and researcher in physics and nanosciences), that I was asked to create a measurement tool to quantify the writing gesture in children.
To date, there are still no tools to finely observe and measure the learning of writing in children. However, writing is part of our daily life and is a fundamental learning process. This technological backwardness at the s ein healthcare professionals complicate, in particular, the diagnosis and identification of pathologies associated with writing.
New adapted technological tools could not only help to automate data recovery, which represents a considerable time saving, but also to obtain more objective measurements. To date, measurements are still made "by eye" via video recordings...
That's why I started with Ana in the design of a "hyper connected" pen, i.e. having the ability to determine how the child holds his pen, using different sensors directly on the pen.
To be able to understand, quantify, measure and follow the maturation of the writing gesture in the child according to his neuro-psychomotor development during a test carried out with a psychomotrician, this pen must be able to record in real time:
the written trace left on the paper, the graph of the ink (of the pen) on the paper
the orientation of the pen in space
the position and number of fingers holding the pen
finger pressure on the pen
the pressure of the pencil lead on the paper
The stage of the project :
At the DVIC we have adopted the MIT Media Lab motto "Demo or Die" which motivates us to have quick functional demonstrations of our projects.
So I created a first electronic printed circuit board (PCB) containing the various sensors that we felt were necessary to make the pen.
Then I created a tactile interface capable of measuring the pressure we apply on it, as well as the position of the fingers when we press them.
Currently I'm working on a graphical interface (on Unity) to retrieve all the data via bluetooth, so that I can interpret and display them in a relevant way.
The finality (the utility) :
The aim of the project is to have a functional prototype to be able to carry out a first draft of measurements in schools with children during the year 2021.
All the measurements taken will then be used for Ana's thesis.
We are also thinking of other openings and future application areas, such as the addition of sound, light and camera indicators. But also to the usefulness of such a tool in the field of rehabilitation and health in the broadest sense.
And why not in the art world?
I would like to thank my supervisors Clément Duhart (founder of the DVIC) and Joël Chevrier (professor at the CRI) for their sound advice, they are very good teachers. But also Ana with whom I have the joy to collaborate and all the people who bring me new technical knowledge.
This project is part of the DVIC's Soft and Active Matters Lab,