Haptics - The Science of Touch Simulation

Introduction to Haptic

Haptics is the science which involves the application of touch sensation in interaction or association with computer applications. Basically, it’s a technology involving tactile feedback system which is able to regenerate the sense of touch by a simple application of vibrations, force and motion to the respective user, who receives this felt sensation through their hands or other body parts. The most distinguishing feature of haptics technology is the fact that, it enables information exchange between the body and the outside world through a simple tactile interaction system. There have been numerous advancements in the field of haptic technology since its inception, more and more multi-disciplines are engaging in extensive research in this field, to try and incorporate it into different applications which could prove to be more effective as well as efficient with inclusion of this massive haptic technology.

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A brief history of Haptics

Shadow Hand
Haptics originates from a Greek word “haptesthai” which is a reference of both kinesthetic and tactile senses. Haptics started gaining interest in the early 20th In the 1950s-1990s scientists gained more interest and exclusive research started in the perception, rendering algorithms and devices in regard to haptic technology. Extensive research in this field has been done by scientists, since its origin in the early 20s drawing a lot of curiosity which made it such an essential tool in the first growing tech world. The experts and especially the scientists involved in this field of technology have extensively carried out developmental procedures, creation of better force and tactile feedback systems with their supporting software, with an aim of enabling users to be able to operate 3D virtual objects. This response system has been made in a way to be able to sense such features and characteristics i.e. weight, texture, shape and temperature. With different multi-disciplines adapting these new haptic technologies, the growth of haptic is eminent in the modern world, since various fields are incorporating this system with exclusive research ongoing every day. century in the field of psychology.

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Latest trends and Research in haptics

Medical Robot
There has been a great advancement in the development of haptic technology, especially in the medical field. Latest developments in endoscopic technologies have positively influenced the medical surgery leading to a minimally invasive form of surgery. With haptics technology, the advancements that have been made have guaranteed precise surgeries with an integration of a medical impression guidance system. Use of haptic technology in medical robotics has revolutionized the medical world in the recent past due to the impressive capabilities embedded within the functioning of this robotic system. The major advantage of this system is the fact that, it is able to optimize mechanical structure as well as an extensive ability program to execute assistive functions. This is essential in medical robotics especially to enable the surgeons perform their functions safe and accurate.

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Haptics Touch Simulation
A lot of efforts by the haptic researchers have been exemplified in the application areas i.e. medical training, surgical stimulation, scientific visualization as well as assistive technology; this is specifically for those who are visually impaired and the blind. A lot of research especially in the field of education has been conducted in regard to efficacy of interactive visual-haptic simulations in teaching especially in the following disciplines: engineering, science, mathematics and technology. There is even more research in the medical field with development of medical robotics. Extensive research is still on going to make it more applicable in surgery with no human assistance. The accuracy in medical surgery using medical robotics has been enhanced and a research by haptic scientists has been overwhelming to ensure the robotics work as efficient as they are designed with the haptic technology integration.

In addition to the specific research on this topic, there are other disciplines that have researched extensively on haptics with an objective of integrating the technology into their systems. However, the complexity of very advanced haptic technology systems requires multidisciplinary cooperation; to effectively develop essential systems based on the haptics to create a program that is functional in respective to the intended purpose.

The science of haptics technology

Medical Robot
As it has been stated, haptics generally means the sense of touch or tactile feedback system. This field of haptics has grown inevitably and broadly to incorporate various disciplines which include cognitive scientists, robotics, computer science, engineering, developmental and experimental psychology. In all these multi-disciplines haptic researchers have been trying to develop essentials i.e. supporting software which is meant to enable users to manipulate virtual objects and also enable them to sense or feel. The science of haptics technology has been diverse due to the various fields and multi-disciplines who have found interest in its application. Latest trends in haptics are proving to grow day by day as most of the people and scientists throng into this field due to its interesting nature. Modern technologies especially in scientific disciplines have aided quality advancements and trends in the haptics technology.

Interesting facts about haptics

Haptics Luminous
One more interesting fact about haptics is in its basis, the human haptics which has developed to become the subject of the recent study involving machine haptics has been of real concern. There exists several and broad haptically essential object detection, which involve hardness, shape as well as thermal conductivity. Haptic researchers and experts have reported the ability of easy discrimination of textures and even shape with or using the haptic sense alone, however the shapes detection is to a lesser extent. According to various researches that have been conducted on this subject matter it suggests that haptic information processing among the grown-ups is basically an interpretation of certain stimulus which in this case could be hard or soft and rough or smooth. It has been a subject of argument on the ability of texture and shape recognition improvement with inclusion of vision. There is no substantive conclusion on the similarity that exists between visual and haptic information processing.

Concepts of haptic technologies

Telepresence and Haptics
Haptic technology involves basic concepts in its application mode. Force is a major concept which underlines the basic concepts of haptics. Force is used to describe and also explain virtual objects, and how they are created and established. This force concept is very vital especially because of the three main reasons. Force is a concept which can be marked as readily available throughout our life on day to day basis. The intuitive meaning of force is a close approximation of the real specific meaning of it, with the use of force concepts it simplifies all the understanding of haptic technology since it creates a foundation. The next concept involves the haptic interfaces, which are programmed to function as required and they are basically defined by the force producing devices. This is a major factor in haptic technology. Lastly, the force concept has allowed an easy demonstration of haptics interaction in a very convenient manner. Due to this factors or reasons the physical concepts such as the mechanical energy was less applicable in haptics technology.

Haptic arm using Arduino

Haptic Arm Arduino
In the recent advances in regard to robotic technology, robots have been developed with the ability to work by themselves with minimal aiding requirements. This is such a greater advantage, with the fact that human machine interaction is minimal. This is an effective way in which haptic technology has been used exclusively through its integration in robotics. Even though there is more advances and technological developments in this field of haptics, people are still weary, and have had fears with this multifunctional robotic creatures. Although this robotics according to research that has been conducted on them, they are quite efficient but the fact that their working capabilities are in question in regard to certain areas i.e. robotic surgery and hazardous material handling this leaves a big question which is readily answered by haptic arm.

Haptic arm is critical in such circumstances as the ones mentioned above. Haptics involves an amazing technology where human machine interaction as well as touch or tactile feedback system is observed and which is used to control and direct the robots. There are various haptic arm workshops which are quite essential in helping engineers learn this important technology of haptic arm. This haptic arm technology uses gestures that are established by robotic actions. The Arduino is one such famous integrated development environment and involves a hardware boarded with the ability to control actuators; this control action only depends on the generated gesture actions.

Technologies involved in haptic arm

Haptic Arm Robot
Bringing this new development in to functioning mode involves different technologies, which are part of the whole development process. The software and the hardware involved in the Arduino development platform are essential in designing the robotic arm as well as its control mechanisms or procedures. A good knowledge of engineering platform is important in the development of haptic technology i.e. in the circuit assembling with incorporation of sensors, DC motors and also the Arduino development board. All these, fall under haptic interface. Different technologies are used in the general haptic technology, most importantly is the haptics applied with each technology being critical. Haptic perception involves the perception of the different characteristics or features of objects with the use or through touch. Haptic rendering is crucial where sense of touch is calculated in order to get the accurate positioning. Focuser the haptic process may not be complete with a telepresence as well the virtual reality systems. Talking about virtual reality systems, it provides a virtual environment where interactions are created enabling the participants to communicate via tactile feedback mechanism with virtual state environment.

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Haptics - The Science of Touch Simulation
Skyfi Labs Last Updated: 2022-03-21

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