Force Feedback Essay

673 words - 3 pages

A force feedback interface is a device that gives users the sensation of a virtual force thereby letting the user touch, feel and manipulate virtual or remote objects in a quasi-natural way. This, when supplemented with audio and visual feedback, gives user the sense of immersion into the virtual or remote environment. The concept forms the base for the virtual reality and telepresence. The idea of Virtual Reality (VR) as presented by Stone1 is “the computer generation of realistic three-dimensional visual worlds in which a human operator, typically equipped with a head-mounted stereoscopic display, interactive gloves and even whole-body suits, can explore and interact with computer-generated virtual objects in much the same way as one might in the real world - by moving, pointing, grasping, touching and viewing from many different angles.” Burdea2,3 defined VR as the user’s real-time multimodal interaction with a computer generated world. The concept of VR is extended by Telepresence, which as presented by Stone1 is “a specialised form of teleoperation and telerobotics whereby the operator of a remote system is presented with workstation facilities capable of creating the illusion that he is actually present at a remote, hazardous worksite.”

Creating a sense of presence/immersion in a Distant/Virtual Environment requires the establishment of a human-machine communication using all the available sensory channels of the human operator, i.e. vision, audition, haptic sense etc. Audio and video systems have been perfected over many decades so that it is now possible for a user to wear small portable devices which will allow a user to see and hear various forms of information. But, for providing the sense of force or touch to the user the system should be capable to deal with Haptic feedback which groups the touch- and force-feedback modalities2,3.
Touch or tactile feedback is needed to replicate virtual object surface characteristics like smoothness, texture, pressure, vibration, temperature, contact geometry and surface interaction like slippage4. Tactile feedback is sensed by the high bandwidth skin receptors. Force or kinesthetic...

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