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Improving Contact Realism through Event-Based Haptic Feedback
March/April 2006 (vol. 12 no. 2)
pp. 219-230

Abstract—Tapping on surfaces in a typical virtual environment feels like contact with soft foam rather than a hard object. The realism of such interactions can be dramatically improved by superimposing event-based, high-frequency transient forces over traditional position-based feedback. When scaled by impact velocity, hand-tuned pulses and decaying sinusoids produce haptic cues that resemble those experienced during real impacts. Our new method for generating appropriate transients inverts a dynamic model of the haptic device to determine the motor forces required to create prerecorded acceleration profiles at the user's fingertips. After development, the event-based haptic paradigm and the method of acceleration matching were evaluated in a carefully controlled user study. Sixteen individuals blindly tapped on nine virtual and three real samples, rating the degree to which each felt like real wood. Event-based feedback achieved significantly higher realism ratings than the traditional rendering method. The display of transient signals made virtual objects feel similar to a real sample of wood on a foam substrate, while position feedback alone received ratings similar to those of foam. This work provides an important new avenue for increasing the realism of contact in haptic interactions.

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Index Terms:
Haptics, force feedback, contact transient, event-based.
Katherine J. Kuchenbecker, Jonathan Fiene, G? Niemeyer, "Improving Contact Realism through Event-Based Haptic Feedback," IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 219-230, March-April 2006, doi:10.1109/TVCG.2006.32
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