We describe the design process we have used to develop a minimal, twenty vibration motor Tactile Vision Sensory Substitution (TVSS) system which enables blind-folded subjects to successfully track and bat a rolling ball and thereby experience 'skin vision'. We have employed a low-fi rapid prototyping approach to build this system and argue that this methodology is particularly effective for building embedded interactive systems. We support this argument in two ways. First, by drawing on theoretical insights from robotics, a discipline that also has to deal with the challenge of building complex embedded systems that interact with their environments; second, by using the development of our TVSS as a case study: describing the series of prototypes that led to our successful design and highlighting what we learnt at each stage
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