Abstract

The importance of force and tactile display in virtual reality technology has been recognized recently, and much research has been undertaken, including development of various force and/or tactile display devices. However, many of these devices are always in contact with the fingers or hands of the operators, and it is impossible for an operator to feel the difference between a contact and a noncontact state with a virtual object directly from tactile sensory channel in his/her finger or hand. This paper presents a new haptic display device that we have developed that provides both touch and force feeling to the operator's fingers. The device tracks the operator's finger without contact when the finger is not in contact with any virtual object. When some virtual object is in contact with the finger, the device touches and displays force to the finger. A control algorithm for the system is given to display the dynamics of the virtual objects. Preliminary experimental results are also presented to show the feasibility of the device and the validity of the control algorithm.

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