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Title: Wave interaction in rotary vibro-tactile displays for human communication
Author: Haydari, Abbas A.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2002
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This project began with the aim of developing an efficient vibrotactile communication device. A review of existing devices, mainly designed for speech communication, suggested that although adding an extra stimulator can improve the performance in some situations, it can degrade the performance in another situation. To explain these varied results, the properties of the human vibrotactile system involved in the perception of mechanical stimuli were studied. This study suggested that there is a great deal of interaction within the vibrotactile perceptual system, part of which is essential for a stimulus to be perceived. It also raised the question regarding the relative importance of the interaction which takes place prior to the tactile receptor as opposed to that occurring from the receptor onwards. Methods to reduce this interaction were introduced and on this basis a novel rotary vibrator was developed. A psychophysical method specifically aimed at measuring the interaction at the level between the stimulation site and the tactile receptors was developed. This method is based on the detection of "beats" arising from stimulation of two vibrators at slightly different frequencies. A system capable of driving a pair of similar vibrators at approximately 15dB SL over the frequency range of 25-500Hz was developed. The results of the psychophysical tests show that the introduced method of measuring interaction is indeed a practical method. In addition, the data from this study suggest that there is a difference between the perceived level of interaction from the two types of vibrators. The interaction is less in the case of the rotary vibrator compared to the conventional perpendicular vibrator at frequencies lower than about 50Hz. These findings offer a new way to look at the development of future vibrotactile devices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available