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A peg-in-hole experiment was performed to investigate how users responded to a simplistic assembly procedure in a haptic virtual environment. This experiment was designed as a precursor to a more challenging pump assembly. Two sets of experiments have been prepared: a real world set up and a virtual reality set up where the participant is given the impression of “forces” through a haptic device. The primary objective was to compare two different assembly tasks in a virtual environment with the following characteristics; rigid body dynamics, stereo display and haptic feedback, and so assess the relative impact of the technology against real world equivalent tasks and its influence on how a task is completed.
“Surface haptics” is the creation of programmable haptic effects on physical surfaces such as touch screens. Our lab has pioneered an approach to surface haptics based on controlling the shear force at each fingertip. This enables fingertips to interact with physics-based virtual environments, much like force feedback devices enable the whole hand to do. Ultrasonic vibrations and electrostatic fields are used to produce the fingertip forces.