Abstract

Most existing haptic gloves are complicated user interfaces with remotely located actuators. More compact and simpler haptic gloves would greatly increase our ability to interact with virtual worlds in a more natural way. This research explored the design of a compact force feedback glove using a new finger mechanism and magnetorheological (MR) brakes as passive actuators that oppose human finger motion. The mechanism allowed for a reduction of the number of actuators and application of distributed forces at the bottom surface of user's fingers when an object was grasped in a virtual environment. The MR brakes incorporated a serpentine flux path that led to a small brake with high torque output and the elimination of remote actuation. Force analysis of the mechanism, grasping force experiments, and virtual pick-and-place experiments were done. The glove reduced task completion time by 61% and could support up to 17 N fingertip force along with 11.9 N and 18.7 N middle and proximal digit forces.

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