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Title: Interoperable haptic interfaces for tactile and force feedback integration in VR
Author: Sarakoglou, Loannis
ISNI:       0000 0004 2697 6693
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2010
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Virtual Reality has traditionally taken the form of audio-visual simulations. The desire for more realistic interactions gradually led to pursue the inclusion of touch as an additional feedback modality. Simulation of touch through haptics should ideally integrate both kinaesthetic and tactile feedback. Currently kinaesthetic feedback is applied mainly through force feedback joysticks and to a lesser extent through hand exoskeletons. Hand exoskeletons are desirable for whole- hand interaction but require further development before they can become more widely applicable. Tactile feedback on the other hand is still in its infancy. None of the past efforts has managed to satisfy the stringent performance and design requirements and to present an interoperable and generic tactile display suitable for integration in VR haptic systems. This thesis presents the development of two haptic interfaces designed for tactile- kinaesthetic feedback integration; an interoperable tactile display for the fingertip and an ergonomic exoskeleton for the hand. The tactile display is a compact and lightweight interface for high fidelity tactile feedback. Its operation is based on a 4x4 array of vertically moving tactors for the display of surface shape to an area of the fingertip. The tactors are spring loaded and are actuated remotely by dc motors through a very flexible tendon transmission. This design allows 6DOF tactile exploration in an excellent work envelope. The compact design, high performance, reliability, and straightforward connectivity make this tactile display truly interoperable and suitable for direct integration in any VR haptic system. The exoskeleton is a 7DOF force feedback interface. It is mounted on the dorsal side of the right hand and provides feedback to the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers. It is actuated remotely by DC motors through a tendon transmission. It is adjustable for different hand sizes and has been designed for comfort, easy fitting and removal. The exoskeleton has also been integrated with novel low cost vibrotactile displays for simulation of contact at the fingertips. The developed interfaces have been designed with a scope for performance practicality reliability and interoperability which are reflected in the outcomes of this thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available