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Title:
CONTROL OF A HAPTIC RESPONSE OF A ROTARY DEVICE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/162096
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Aspects of the present invention relate to a controller, a rotary control, a user interface, a vehicle, a method and a non-transitory computer readable medium for receiving a first signal indicative of an axial position of a rotary device, determining a haptic control profile for the rotary device in dependence on the first signal and generating a haptic control signal for controlling a haptic response of the rotary device in accordance with the determined haptic control profile. Other aspects of the present invention relate to controller, a rotary control, a user interface, a vehicle, a method and a non-transitory computer readable medium for providing a first signal indicative of an axial position of a rotary device to a controller, receiving a haptic control signal and controlling a haptic response of the rotary device in dependence on the haptic control signal.

Inventors:
ENGLISH JENNIFER (GB)
Application Number:
EP2019/052927
Publication Date:
August 29, 2019
Filing Date:
February 06, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
JAGUAR LAND ROVER LTD (GB)
International Classes:
G06F3/0362; G06F3/01
Foreign References:
US6100476A2000-08-08
US20060038781A12006-02-23
US20070279401A12007-12-06
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RAYBOULD, Adam (GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1 . A controller comprising:

an input configured to receive a first signal indicative of an axial position of a rotary device, the rotary device having two or more axial positions;

a processor configured to determine a haptic control profile for the rotary device in dependence on the first signal and to generate a haptic control signal for controlling a haptic response of the rotary device in accordance with the determined haptic control profile, and an output configured to output the haptic control signal.

2. A controller according to claim 1 , wherein the two or more axial position of the rotary device includes first, second and third axial positions and the processor is arranged to determine whether the rotary device is in the first, second or third axial position in dependence on the first signal.

3. A controller according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the two or more axial position of the rotary device includes push, pull and neutral positions and the processor is arranged to determine whether the rotary device is in the push, pull or neutral position in dependence on the first signal.

4. A controller according to any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein the haptic control signal is indicative of a resistance to rotation to be applied to the rotary device.

5. A controller according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the output provides the haptic control signal to a haptic controller.

6. A controller according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein generating a haptic control signal includes selecting one of a plurality of stored haptic control profiles in dependence on the received first signal.

7. A controller according to claim 6, comprising a memory storing the plurality of haptic control profiles.

8. A controller according to claim 7, wherein the memory is a reprogrammable memory.

9. A rotary control comprising: a rotary device having two or more axial positions, wherein the rotary device is configured to generate a first signal indicative of an axial position of the rotary device for output to a controller;

an output for providing the first signal to the controller;

an input for receiving a haptic control signal; and

a haptic controller configured to control a haptic response of the rotary device, wherein the resistance to rotation is controlled in dependence on the haptic control signal.

10. A rotary control according to claim 9, wherein the haptic control signal is indicative of a resistance to rotation to be applied to the rotary device.

1 1 . A rotary control according to claim 9 or claim 10, wherein the axial positions include first, second and third axial positions.

12. A rotary control according to any one of claims 9 to 1 1 , wherein the axial positions include push, pull and neutral positions.

13. A rotary control according to claim 12, wherein the rotary device is biased to the neutral position.

14. A rotary control according to any one of claims 9 to 13, comprising one or more switches providing one or more switch output, the or each switch output providing a signal indicative of the rotary device having one of the said axial positions.

15. A rotary control according to any one of claims 9 to 14, wherein the axial positions are indicative of a functional mode.

16. A rotary control according to any one of claims 9 to 15, wherein the haptic controller includes a controllable motor, wherein the resistance to rotation of the rotary device is implemented by the controllable motor.

17. A rotary control according to any one of claims 9 to 16, wherein the rotary control is a rotary control for a vehicle.

18. A system comprising a controller according to any one of claims 1 - 8 and a rotary control according to any one of claims 9 - 17.

19. A user interface including a rotary control according to any one of claims 9 to 17 and comprising a display.

20. A vehicle comprising a rotary control according to any one of claims 9 to 17 or a user interface according to claim 19.

21. A vehicle according to claim 20, comprising a controller according to any one of claims 1 to 8.

22. A method comprising:

receiving a first signal indicative of an axial position of a rotary device, the rotary device having two or more axial positions;

determining a haptic control profile for the rotary device in dependence on the first signal; and

generating a haptic control signal for controlling a haptic response of the rotary device in accordance with the determined haptic control profile.

23. A method according to claim 22, comprising providing the generated haptic control signal to a haptic controller.

24. A method according to claim 22 or claim 23, wherein the haptic control signal is indicative of a resistance to rotation to be applied to the rotary device.

25. A method according to any one of claims 22 to 24, wherein generating the haptic control signal includes selecting one of a plurality of stored haptic control profiles in dependence on the first signal.

26. A method comprising:

providing a first signal indicative of an axial position of a rotary device to a controller, the rotary device having two or more of axial positions;

receiving a haptic control signal; and

controlling a haptic response of the rotary device, wherein the haptic response is controlled in dependence on the haptic control signal.

27. A method according to claim 26, comprising detecting the axial position of the rotary device.

28. A method according to any one of claims 22 to 27, wherein the two or more axial positions of the rotary device include first, second and third axial positions.

29. A method according to any one of claims 22 to 28, wherein the two or more axial positions of the rotary device include push, pull and neutral positions.

30. A method according to claim 29, wherein the rotary device is biased to the neutral position. 31. A non-transitory computer readable medium comprising computer readable instructions that, when executed by a processor, cause a performance of the method of any one of claims 22 to 30.

Description:
CONTROL OF A HAPTIC RESPONSE OF A ROTARY DEVICE

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates to control of a haptic response of a rotary device. Aspects of the invention relate to a controller, a rotary control, a user interface, a vehicle, a method and a non-transitory computer readable medium.

BACKGROUND

It is known to provide a control panel, such as a vehicle control panel, having a number of switches to control different features of a control system. It can be difficult for a user to ensure that the correct feature has been engaged and, if relevant, that the desired setting of a particular control feature has been selected.

At least in certain embodiments, the present invention seeks to overcome or ameliorate at least some of the disadvantages associated with the prior art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Aspects and embodiments of the invention provide a controller, a rotary control, a user interface, a vehicle, a method and a non-transitory computer readable medium as claimed in the appended claims.

Aspects of the present invention relate to a controller, a rotary control, a user interface, a vehicle, a method and a non-transitory computer readable medium for receiving a first signal indicative of an axial position of a device (such as a rotary device), determining a haptic control profile for the device in dependence on the first signal and generating a haptic control signal for controlling a haptic response of the device in accordance with the determined haptic control profile. Other aspects of the present invention relate to controller, a control (such as a rotary control), a user interface, a vehicle, a method and a non-transitory computer readable medium for providing a first signal indicative of an axial position of a device to a controller, receiving a haptic control signal and controlling a haptic response of the device in dependence on the haptic control signal.

According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a controller comprising: an input configured to receive a first signal indicative of an axial position of a rotary device, the rotary device having two or more axial positions; a processor configured to determine a haptic control profile for the rotary device in dependence on the first signal and to generate a haptic control signal for controlling a haptic response of the rotary device in accordance with the determined haptic control profile, and an output configured to output the haptic control signal. Thus, the haptic feedback can be provided to a user in dependence on the axial position of the rotary device. By providing different haptic feedback in different axial positions, the user may be readily able to recognise the function being controlled. The output may provide the haptic control signal to a haptic controller.

The two or more axial positions may include first, second and third axial positions, such as push, pull and neutral positions (and may, in some embodiments, include more axial positions). In alternative forms of the invention, the two or more axial positions may include two positions (such as push and pull positions, push and neutral positions, and pull and neutral positions). By providing different axial positions, it may be possible to reduce the number of switches and/or controllers, thereby potentially simplifying the input to the controller.

In embodiments, the rotary device may be biased towards the neutral position. Such an arrangement may assist a user to be more certain of the current axial position of the rotary device. In some embodiments, certain features may be accessed in an unbiased position, thereby potentially preventing such features from being accidentally accessed.

The haptic control signal may be indicative of a resistance to rotation to be applied to the rotary device. For example, the haptic control signal may be indicative of a torque required to rotate the rotary device. In some embodiments, certain features may require a higher torque.

The output may provide the haptic control signal to a haptic controller.

Generating the haptic control signal may include selecting one of a plurality of stored haptic control profiles in dependence on the received first signal. A memory (which may be programmable) may be provided for storing the plurality of haptic control profiles. Providing such a memory may provide a simple manner for storing (and potentially updating) haptic control profiles. This may provide improved flexibility in the deployment of haptic control profiles.

The present invention may provide a controller as described above, wherein: said processor comprises an electronic processor having an electrical input for receiving the first signal indicative of an axial position of the rotary device; the controller comprises an electronic memory device coupled to the electronic processor and having instructions stored therein; and the processor is configured to access the memory device and execute the instructions stored therein such that it is operable to determine the haptic control profile in dependence on the first signal.

According to a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a rotary control (such as a rotary control for a vehicle) comprising: a rotary device having two or more axial positions, wherein the rotary device is configured to generate a first signal indicative of an axial position of the rotary device for output to a controller; an output for providing the first signal to the controller; an input for receiving a haptic control signal; and a haptic controller configured to control a haptic response of the rotary device, wherein the resistance to rotation is controlled in dependence on the haptic control signal.

The haptic control signal may be indicative of a resistance to rotation to be applied to the rotary device. For example, the haptic control signal may be indicative of a torque required to rotate the rotary device.

The two or more axial positions may include first, second and third axial positions, such as push, pull and neutral positions. In alternative forms of the invention, the two or more axial positions may include two positions (such as push and pull positions, push and neutral positions, and pull and neutral positions).

In embodiments, the rotary device may be biased towards the neutral position. Such an arrangement may assist a user to be more certain of the current axial position of the rotary device.

The rotary control may comprise one or more switches providing one or more switch output, with the or each switch output providing a signal indicative of the rotary device having one of the said axial positions. The one or more switch output may be provided by a plurality of switches. Alternatively, a single switch, such as a tactile (TACT) switch, may provide the one or more switch output. Many mechanisms may be provided for providing an indication of the axial position of the rotary device, including, but not limited to, many alternative switch configurations to those described herein.

The said axial positions may be indicative of a functional mode. Functional modes may relate, for example, to climate control for a vehicle (e.g. heating and/or cooling), terrain control for a vehicle. Many other example functional modes are possible. Different axial positions may enable the rotary device to control different systems altogether. Alternatively, different axial positions may enable differing levels of control over the same vehicle system (e.g. first, second and third axial positions may respectively enable broad, fine and even finer granularity of system adjustments).

The haptic controller may include a controllable motor, wherein the resistance to rotation of the rotary device is implemented by the controllable motor. A gear arrangement (e.g. a motor gear and/or rotary knob gear) may be provided for translating the action of the controllable motor to a resistance to rotation of the rotary device. Such an arrangement can be readily controlled and readily modified.

According to a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a system comprising a controller as defined above and a rotary control as defined above.

According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided a user interface including a rotary control as defined above and comprising a display.

According to yet another aspect of the invention, there is provided a vehicle comprising a rotary control as set out above or user interface as set out above. The vehicle may comprise a controller as set out above.

According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided a method comprising: receiving a first signal indicative of an axial position of a rotary device, the rotary device having two or more axial positions; determining a haptic control profile for the rotary device in dependence on the first signal; and generating a haptic control signal for controlling a haptic response of the rotary device in accordance with the determined haptic control profile. The method may comprise providing the generated haptic control signal to a haptic controller.

The haptic control signal may be indicative of a resistance to rotation to be applied to the rotary device.

Generating the haptic control signal may include selecting one of a plurality of stored haptic control profiles in dependence on the received first signal. A memory (which may be programmable) may be provided for storing the plurality of haptic control profiles. Providing such a memory may provide a simple manner for storing (and potentially updating) haptic control profiles. The two or more axial positions may include first, second and third axial positions, such as push, pull and neutral positions. In alternative forms of the invention, the two or more axial positions may include two positions (such as push and pull positions, push and neutral positions, pull and neutral positions).

In embodiments, the rotary device may be biased towards the neutral position. Such an arrangement may assist a user to be more certain of the current axial position of the rotary device.

The said axial positions may be indicative of a functional mode. Functional modes may relate, for example, to climate control for a vehicle (e.g. heating and/or cooling), terrain control for a vehicle. Different axial position may enable the rotary device to control different systems altogether. Alternatively, different axial positions may enable differing levels of control over the same vehicle system (e.g. first, second and third axial positions may respectively enable broad, fine and even finer granularity of system adjustments).

According to yet another aspect of the invention, there is provided a method comprising: providing a first signal indicative of an axial position of a rotary device to a controller, the rotary device having two or more of axial positions; receiving a haptic control signal; and controlling a haptic response of the rotary device, wherein the haptic response is controlled in dependence on the haptic control signal. The method may include detecting the axial position of the rotary device (for example using a switching arrangement).

Controlling the haptic response of the rotary device may comprise controlling a resistance to rotation of the rotary device (for example, in dependence of the haptic control signal). The resistance may be controlled to control the torque resistance and/or to control detents. A controllable motor may be provided, wherein the resistance to rotation of the rotary device is implemented by the controllable motor.

The two or more axial positions may include first, second and third axial positions, such as push, pull and neutral positions. In alternative forms of the invention, the two or more axial positions may include two positions (such as push and pull positions, push and neutral positions, and pull and neutral positions).

In embodiments, the rotary device may be biased towards the neutral position. Such an arrangement may assist a user to be more certain of the current axial position of the rotary device. The said axial positions may be indicative of a functional mode. Functional modes may relate, for example, to climate control for a vehicle (e.g. heating and/or cooling), terrain control for a vehicle. Different axial position may enable the rotary device to control different systems altogether. Alternatively, different axial positions may enable differing levels of control over the same vehicle system (e.g. first, second and third axial positions may respectively enable broad, fine and even finer granularity of system adjustments).

According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided a computer program comprising computer readable instructions that, when executed by a processor, cause performance any of the methods as set out above.

According to a further aspect of the invention, there is provided a non-transitory computer readable medium comprising computer readable instructions that, when executed by a processor, cause a performance any of the methods as set out above.

Within the scope of this application it is expressly intended that the various aspects, embodiments, examples and alternatives set out in the preceding paragraphs, in the claims and/or in the following description and drawings, and in particular the individual features thereof, may be taken independently or in any combination. That is, all embodiments and/or features of any embodiment can be combined in any way and/or combination, unless such features are incompatible. The applicant reserves the right to change any originally filed claim or file any new claim accordingly, including the right to amend any originally filed claim to depend from and/or incorporate any feature of any other claim although not originally claimed in that manner.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

One or more embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows a highly schematic block diagram of a system in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

Figure 2 shows a block diagram illustrating an embodiment of the invention; Figure 3 shows a schematic representation of a user interface in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

Figure 4 shows a partially cut-away view of a rotary control illustrating an embodiment of the invention;

Figure 5 shows a switch arrangement in accordance with an embodiment of the invention; Figure 6 shows a flow chart illustrating an embodiment of the invention;

Figure 7 shows a flow chart illustrating an embodiment of the invention;

Figure 8 shows a graph illustrating embodiments of the invention; and

Figure 9 shows a vehicle in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Figure 1 shows a highly schematic block diagram of a system, indicated generally by the reference numeral 1 , in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The system 1 comprises a rotary device 2, a controller 4 and a haptic controller 6.

The rotary device 2 provides input signals to the controller 4. For example, the clockwise rotation of the rotary device 2 may indicate that a variable being controlled is increased and the anticlockwise rotation of the rotary device may indicate that a variable being controlled in decreased.

The haptic controller 6 provides haptic feedback to the user by varying one or more haptics of the rotary device 2. As described in further detail below, such haptics may include the level of resistance to rotation of the rotary device and/or spaces between apparent detents in the rotation of the rotary device 2. Other examples of variable haptic feedback to a user are possible.

Haptic feedback can be used to provide feedback to the user. Such feedback may, in some circumstances, be intuitive. Such feedback can reduce the need for a user to look at the controls, thereby providing an ability to convey information to a user without the user taking their eyes off the road.

As described in detail blow, the rotary device 2 includes two or more axial positions. The axial position of the rotary device 2 is provided as an input to the controller 4. The axial position of the rotary device 2 is used in the selection of the haptic feedback provided by the haptic controller 6 to the user by means of the haptic control of the rotary device 2.

Figure 2 shows a block diagram of a system, indicated generally by the reference numeral 10, illustrating an embodiment of the invention.

The system 10 includes the controller 4 described above. The example controller 4 comprises a processor 12 and a memory 14.

The controller 4 receives a signal indicative of the axial position of the rotary device 2 and outputs a haptic control signal that is provided to the haptic controller 6 described above. In one embodiment, the processor 12 selects one of a plurality of haptic profiles stored in the memory 14 in dependence on the axial position indication received from the rotary device 2. The memory 14 may be programmable, such that the haptic profiles can be modified.

Figure 3 shows a schematic representation of a user interface, indicated generally by the reference numeral 20, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The user interface 20 comprises a first rotary device 22, a second rotary device 24 and a display 26. The first and second rotary devices 22, 24 may provide the rotary device functionality described above. In the example user interface 20, two rotary devices are provided such that two users (e.g. a driver and a passenger in a vehicle) can each be provided with a rotary device (and thereby interact with a control system). This is not essential to all embodiments. For example, a single rotary device may be provided.

The user interface 20 also includes a display 26 for providing feedback to the user (such as a driver of a vehicle). The user interface may take many forms, such as providing details of a variable being set by a use of one of the rotary devices 22, 24. Other feedback mechanisms (such as audio feedback) may be provided instead of, or in addition to, the display 26.

Figure 4 shows a partially cut-away view of a rotary control, indicated generally by the reference numeral 30, illustrating an embodiment of the invention. The rotary control 30 includes the rotary device 2 and the haptic controller 6 of the system 1 described above. The rotary device 2 includes rotary knob 32 that can be rotated by a user.

The haptic controller 6 is configured to control the haptic response of the rotary device. The haptic controller 6 includes a motor unit 34, a motor gear 36 and a knob gear 38 that collectively control the resistance to rotation of the rotary knob 32 of the of the rotary device in dependence on a haptic control signal (provided, for example, by the controller 4 described above). The motor unit 34 includes a motor that is used to selectively restrict the rotation of the knob 32, with the impact of the motor being transferred to the knob 32 by the motor gear 36 and the knob gear 38.

The rotary control 30 provides one example mechanism for controlling the resistance to rotation of the rotary device. The use of this mechanism is not essential. The skilled person will be aware of alternative mechanisms that could be provided.

In addition to rotary movement, the rotary knob 32 is configured to provide the different axial positions of the rotary device described elsewhere in this document. For example, it may be possible to pull the rotary knob from a neutral position and/or the push the rotary knob from a neutral position in order to provide different axial positions. In some embodiments, the rotary knob 32 is biased towards a neutral position such that, in the absence of any action by a user, the rotary knob 32 is in the neutral position.

Figure 5 shows a switch arrangement, indicated generally by the reference numeral 40, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The switch arrangement 40 provides an example arrangement for determining the axial position of a rotary device (e.g. the axial position of the rotary knob 32 described above).

The switch arrangement 40 includes a slider tab 42 that is coupled, for example, to the rotary knob 32 described above. The slider tab 42 is pulled upwards when the rotary knob 32 is pulled upwards and is pushed downwards when the rotary knob 32 is pushed downwards.

The switch arrangement 40 also includes a rocker actuator 44, a holder tab 46, a first switch 48 and a second switch 49. The first and second switches may be tactile (TACT) switches.

In response to the slider tab 42 being pulled upwards, the rocker actuator 44 is forced into contact with the first switch 48. Similarly, in response to the slider tab 42 being pushed downwards, the rocker actuator 44 is forced into contact with the second switch 49. Thus, the switch arrangement 40 provides a simple mechanism for providing an output indicative of the axial position of the rotary device 2.

The switch arrangement 40 is provided by way of example only. The use of this mechanism is not essential. The skilled person will be aware of alternative switch mechanisms that could be provided.

Figure 6 shows a flow chart showing an algorithm indicated generally by the reference numeral 50, illustrating an embodiment of the invention. The algorithm 50 starts at operation 52 where the axial position of a rotary device 2 is received at the controller 4. On the basis of the axial position of the rotary device, the processor 12 of the controller 4 determines a haptic control profile for the rotary device (operation 54) and generates a haptic control signal for controlling a haptic response of the rotary device in accordance with the haptic control profile (operation 56).

Figure 7 shows a flow chart showing an algorithm indicated generally by the reference numeral 60, illustrating an embodiment of the invention. The algorithm 60 starts at operation 62, where the axial position of a rotary device 2 is provided to the controller 4. At operation 64, a haptic control signal is received at the rotary device or at the haptic controller controlling the rotary device. At operation 66, a haptic response of the rotary device is controlled in accordance with the haptic control signal.

As described above, the axial position of the rotary device 2 determined in operation 62 and provided to the controller 4 in operation 52 may be defined by the axial position of the rotary knob 32 described above as detected, for example, using the switching mechanism 40.

The haptic control signal generated in operation 56 and received in operation 64 may, for example, be used to control the action of the motor unit 34, motor gear 36 and the knob gear 38 of the example rotary control 30 described above.

The embodiments described herein generally describe three axial positions of the rotary control 2. This is not essential. For example, two axial positions could be provided. Moreover, more than three axial positions could be provided. The rotary control 30 and the switching arrangement 40 can readily be extended to provide for more than three axial positions. For example, pulling the rotary knob 32 twice may enable the first switch 48 to be contacted twice, indicative of two different“pull” positions of the rotary knob. Similarly, pushing the rotary knob 32 twice may enable the second switch 49 to be contacted twice, indicative of two different “push” positions of the rotary knob.

Figure 8 shows a graph, indicated generally by the reference numeral 70, illustrating embodiments of the invention. The graph 70 includes a first plot 72, a second plot 74 and a third plot 76 that each provide examples implementations of the control of the haptic response described above with reference to operation 66 of the algorithm 60. The first plot 72 has a higher amplitude than the second plot 74, which in turn has a higher amplitude than the third plot 76. Thus, the haptic profile indicated by the first plot 72 has the highest resistance to rotary torque and the haptic profile indicated by the third plot 74 has the smallest resistance to rotary torque. In addition to controlling the amplitude, the wavelength of the waveforms can be adjusted to control the number of detents when rotating the rotary device. Moreover, the shape of the waveforms may be adjustable in order to provide a desired user feel (for example when the rotation of a rotary device is relatively difficult and when the rotation is relatively easy).

The waveforms shown in the graph 70 are provided by way of example only. In principle, any waveform can be provided. Furthermore, by changing haptic profile data stored within the memory 14 of the controller 4 described above, the haptic profiles can readily be changed.

The invention has generally been described with reference to a rotary control. This is not essential to all embodiments of the invention. It would also be possible to provide some other form of control device. For example, a control device could be provided having two or more axial positions, wherein the control device is configured to generate a first signal indicative of an axial position of the control device for output to a controller. The control device may have an output for providing the first signal to the controller and an input for receiving a haptic control signal. A haptic controller may be configured to control a haptic response of the control device. In such an arrangement, a controller may be provided comprising: an input configured to receive a first signal indicative of an axial position of a control device, the control device having two or more axial positions; a processor configured to determine a haptic control profile for the control device in dependence on the first signal and to generate a haptic control signal for controlling a haptic response of the control device in accordance with the determined haptic control profile, and an output configured to output the haptic control signal.

A vehicle 100 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention is described herewith with reference to Figure 9. The vehicle 100 may incorporate one or more of the embodiments of the invention described above. It will be appreciated that various changes and modifications can be made to the present invention without departing from the scope of the present application.