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Volume 24 Issue 9 - Publication Date: 1 September 2005
Special Issue on the 11th International Symposium on Robotics Research
 
Contact Location Display for Haptic Perception of Curvature and Object Motion
 
W. R. Provancher, M. R. Cutkosky Dexterous Manipulation Lab, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, K. J. Kuchenbecker, and G. Niemeyer Telerobotics Lab, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
 
We present a new tactile display for use in dexterous telemanipulation and virtual reality. Our system renders the location of the contact centroid moving on the user’s fingertip. Constructed in a thimble-sized package and mounted on a haptic force-feedback device, it provides the user with concurrent feedback of contact location and interaction forces.We believe such a design will enable more versatile object manipulation and richer haptic interactions. To evaluate this display concept, we conducted two perceptual experiments. First, human subjects judged object curvature using both direct manipulation of physical models and virtual manipulation via the device. Results show similar levels of discrimination in real and virtual interactions, indicating the device can effectively portray contact information. Secondly, we investigated virtual interactions with rolling and anchored objects and demonstrated that users are able to distinguish the interaction type using our device. These experiments give insight into the sensitivity of human perception and suggest that even a simple display of the contact centroid location may significantly enhance telerobotic or virtual grasping tasks.
 
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