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VWN Resource Database: Haptics
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Resource Database > Haptics
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Virtual Output | Virtual Body | Sensation | Avatar Interfacing
 
Haptic taken literally means the sense of touch. It is the ability to feel something when it brushes up against you. Haptic is most frequently referred to as touch via the hands. This is because data gloves have captured the public imagination. Whilst such gloves do exist, haptics can be applied to any part of the body, from gloves to bodysuits, vests, and armbands.


Sections


Tactonics (3)

Tactical manipulation of the virtual, feeling its texture, its pressure, temperature and viscosity, this synthetic reality technology, when applied to augmented reality, allows for touchy feely with items that look to be in meatspace, but are in fact pure virtual.
Applicable Dictionary Entries:  
TactileTactile Sensor
Locally Hosted resource
Touching Molecules With Your Bare Hands
Industry News

Industry news, originally posted 15th April 2005, deemed too important to allow to fade. A group of scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have developed a new haptic AR process, allowing tiny objects to be manipulated in your hands.



Basics (15)

Applicable Dictionary Entries:  
Dead FingerHaptic Interface
HapticsTactile
Tactile SensorVibratory Feedback
White Finger
Locally Hosted resource
Fingerprints May Improve Sense of Touch
Industry News

One possible purpose of fingerprints is that they improve our sense of touch.

Locally Hosted resource
Haptics Impacts how the World is Viewed, Sight Impacts how the world is Felt
New research, published in the April 9,2009 online issue of Current Biology, reinforces the suspicion that senses play off of and reinfoce one another, to an even greater extent. In this case, MIT neuroscientists have found a corollary to the visual illusion process in the tactile sensory systems of humans.

Locally Hosted resource
Haptics Theories Upturned: Pressure Independent of Velocity
It has been a staple of our understanding of the processes behind human dexterity for decades, that the faster you push at something, the more force you exert. Now, it seems that is not actually accurate.

Locally Hosted resource
Haptics: Cold
An examination of haptics would not be complete without a look at some of the lesser known sensory nerves. This time it is the turn of Krausse's bulb end, responsible for our sense of cold. How it actually does that, is still something of a mystery.

Locally Hosted resource
Haptics: Pressure
Haptics is the study of the sense of touch. Touch has many parts, but the most basic, the most fundamental of all, is that of pressure.

Locally Hosted resource
Haptics: Texture
Haptics is the study of the sense of touch. There are many parts to touch, and five different types of touch nerve in the nervous system. Here, we look at what goes into detecting texture, how the nerves work, and some initial attempts to interface with them for VR.


This resource list deals with what mighrt well be termed early uptake haptics - the haptics systems which are finally leaving the lab, and amoung the first to find real, practical use in medicine, education, and industry.


Locally Hosted resource
Visual Pathways the same, With or Without Eyes
A surprising find that pure touch-based sense organisms like hydras and jellyfish are capable of detecting changes in light levels in localised areas, strongly suggests that sight developed as part of the touch sense - and that some form of sight sensor is ideal when proprioception is not workable.



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The Organic Sense of Touch (6)

Applicable Dictionary Entries:  
Mechanoreceptor
Locally Hosted resource
Adding Haptics to a Second Skin
Researchers have prototyped an electrotactile second skin to be worn over the first, which adds additional pressure sensation to the user's own sensory capabilities – it makes the natural skin much more sensitive to touch.

Locally Hosted resource
Book Quotes: Assessing Haptic Threshold
An interesting little quote from Mona Lisa Overdrive which provides brain fodder to chew on for the future of haptic (touch) interfaces.

Locally Hosted resource
Control of Your Hands is in Your Eyes
A study from Northwestern University shows how the eyes override our haptic senses. Our feeling of touch can be fooled by our eyes seeing very different results to our hands. In this case, the placement of weights held in the hand is altered depending on what the eye sees, not what the hands feel.

Locally Hosted resource
Nervous Structure of the Arm
This article is intended to serve as a general introduction to the nerve layout in the human arm and hand. It is not concerned with bone or muscle layout, but simply with the areas affected by each nerve pathway, and data type. It exists as an aid to those desiring to create a replacement arm, either prosthetic or virtual, and understand purely which area of the limb feeds sensory information to which part of the nervous system.

Police in the United Kingdom are starting to augment their bodies with technology, in order to better perform their duties. Crude augmented reality equipment is already becoming standard issue.





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Telehaptics (4)

Applicable Dictionary Entries:  
TelehapticsTelemanipulation
Locally Hosted resource
Packbot to gain Haptic Feedback
In October 2009, iRobot announced that they would be receiving additional funding from the US Robotics Technology Consortium. They plan to use much of this money to add full haptic feedback technology to their heavy-duty robots.

Novint Falcon is a commercial grade haptics unit. Essentially, it is a 3D joystick that responds with the full range of force: Weight, shape, texture, dimension, dynamics and force effects.





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The Presence Problem (2)

Touch and feel is all very well within a VR environment, but what happens when someone touches you, or worse, pulls you, restrains you. How do you extrapolate that kind of touch, from the virtual?

This book is very much a philosophical viewpoint tome, one which is very relevant to VR, as it meanders between materialism and sensory synergy, arguing back and forth about how motion and sensation are the same thing; two halves of a dynamo engine which continually feed into one another.



Locally Hosted resource
The Bandwidth to Feel
Using the current approach to data transfer the Internet is built on, full VR would never be possible. Just too many thousands of packets for different senses, all moving at once. You would literally come apart at the seams. Thankfully, there is another approach; Internet 2.



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Haptic Prosthetic Development (3)

Locally Hosted resource
RAPHaEL Hand > Compressed Air and Rubber
The RAPHaEL hand, or Robotic Air Powered Hand with Elastic Ligaments was constructed by Virginia Tech researchers. Its main claim to fame is a 60psi deft and dexterous movement, with a complete lack of motors. It uses actuators based on the accordion model instead.

Linked resource
You Tube of Claudia Mitchell and the first haptic, bionic arm
Ex-Marine Claudia Mitchell became the first woman to receive a bionic arm. This video shows the truly revolutionary range of motion and freedom, that allows.

Linked resource
You Tube of the first haptic, bionic arm versus a non-haptic
A comparison. Two women, both with prosthetic limbs. On the left, a standard prosthetic. On the right, a haptic prosthetic giving touch feedback. Who can complete the task faster, and is there much difference?



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Haptic Interfaces (19)

Applicable Dictionary Entries:  
Acoustic radiation pressureActive Haptic Exploration
Multimodal SequencePassive Haptic Exploration
Touch SequenceVHAR
VHMR
Locally Hosted resource
Haptics Reaches the Emotions
The search to prove haptics for robotics is vital to human interaction, may have profound implications for human interaction online as well.

Locally Hosted resource
Haptics via Ultrasound
All manner of approaches are being fielded these days to try and create a workable haptic interface, that allows the true feeling of touch to an object that is only virtually there. One of the more esoteric, is the use of sound to shape the pressure fields in the air. Specifically, the use of ultrasound.

Locally Hosted resource
Houseplants as Interface Devices
Disney Research has come up with a truly novel type of interface device – a way to turn any house plant into a programmable haptic controller, by taking advantage of the capacitive capability of plants.

Linked resource
Putting a face to the past
A piece from the BBC, on using haptics to rebuild faces from casts and models.

Linked resource
Research Behind MUCI Armbands
A PDF released by Microsoft Research, entitled ?Demonstrating the Feasibility of Using Forearm Electromyography for Muscle-Computer Interfaces? details the science behind utilising muscle control as an alternative, viable input system to gesture recognition or spoken commands.
PDF size: 1 meg

Locally Hosted resource
Stretchable Tactile Sensors
Wouldn't it be marvellous if artificial pressure sensors could bend and flex like their organic counterparts? If synthetic skin could knead and twist like normal skin, but remain just as keen of sense? We are not there yet, but the first prototypes that can behave naturally under strain, are already here.

One of the severe problems with haptic input devices (other than the very, very basic type that jack directly into the nervous system) is that the mechanics of hand-held systems only bend or push so far, then they hit engineered limits and the feeling dissipates.



Novint Falcon is a commercial grade haptics unit. Essentially, it is a 3D joystick that responds with the full range of force: Weight, shape, texture, dimension, dynamics and force effects.



Developed in the early 1990s by researchers at MIT, the Phantom was commercialised by SensAble Technologies, and has been refined over nearly two decades. It's a haptic interface, that essentially consists of a small robotic arm that the user grasps as if holding a stylus.



A relative keyboard, or predictive keyboard is a textual input method whereby 'keystrokes' are detected via machine vision, as movements relative to one another, instead of a discrete, unambiguous sequence of key-presses activating electrical circuits.



A relative keyboard, or predictive keyboard is a textual input method whereby 'keystrokes' are detected via machine vision, as movements relative to one another, instead of a discrete, unambiguous sequence of key-presses activating electrical circuits.



For those who believe that the concept of gesture activated computing - wave an arm in the air and the computer responds - is a new one, this peripheral exists to disprove them. At the same time it is on record as one of the worst peripherals in the history of both simulation and gaming.








 



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