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Real-time area-based haptic rendering and the augmented tactile display device for a palpation simulator

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Although people usually contact a surface with some area rather than a point, most haptic devices allow a user to interact with a virtual object at one point at a time and likewise most haptic rendering algorithms deal with such situations only. In a palpation procedure, medical doctors push and rub the organ's surface, and are provided the sensation of distributed pressure and contact force (reflecting force) for discerning doubtable areas of the organ. In this paper, we suggest real-time area-based haptic rendering to describe distributed pressure and contact force simultaneously, and present a haptic interface system to generate surface properties in accordance with the haptic rendering algorithm. We represent the haptic model using the shape-retaining chain link (S-chain) framework for a fast and stable computation of the contact force and distributed pressure from a volumetric virtual object. In addition, we developed a compact pin-array-type tactile display unit and attached it to the PHANToMTM haptic device to complement each other. For the evaluation, experiments were conducted with non-homogenous volumetric cubic objects consisting of approximately 500 000 volume elements. The experimental results show that compared to the point contact, the area contact provides the user with more precise perception of the shape and softness of the object's composition, and that our proposed system satisfies the real-time and realism constraints to be useful for a virtual reality application.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Interactive Virtual Reality Laboratory, School of Internet Media Engineering, Korea University of Technology and Education, Gajeonri 307, Byeong cheon-myeon, Cheon-an, Chungnam, South Korea 2: Electronics and Telecommunication Research Institute, Gajeongno, Yuseung-gu, Daejeon, 305-700, South Korea 3: Computer Graphics & Visualization Laboratory, School of Engineering, ICU, Munjiro 119, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 305-714, South Korea 4: Telerobotics & Control Laboratory, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, KAIST, Guseong-Dong 373-1, Yuseung-gu, Daejeon, 305-701, South Korea

Publication date: September 1, 2007


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