Haptic Research @ The Klatzky Lab CMU

I have been working with Prof. Klatzky on bringing texture to flat touchscreens. This research project uses a loudspeaker that vibrates fingers at various amplitudes and frequencies to mimic the roughness of a surface. Potential applications could include creating a more realistic online shopping experience, or incorporating texture to a VR environment. I conducted user studies, data collection and analysis, and debugged the mechanical, electronics, and software systems.
A research paper is in preparation for submission.

klatzky
klatzky
klatzky
klatzky

Haptic Feedback System for VR @ Future Interfaces Group

Advisor: Chris Harrison
In a VR/AR environment, haptic feedback is key in enhancing the immersive experience. Existing products such as the VR gloves simulate texture of rough surfaces by applying vibrations to the skin. However, those VR gloves cannot simulate resisting forces when users attempt to push or grab an object. The goal of the project is to build a haptic feedback system that creates the illusion of a resisting force.
This project explores the idea of a computer-controlled, retractable, string-based mechanism that attaches to different parts of a hand and pulls back the hand to resist forward motion. The mechanism uses a ratchet like mechanism with servo to arrest the string at a specific distance. An small array of “string pixels” can be built to simulate different forces at parts of a hand to provide variety in the resistance forces. Once the mechanism is built, it will be tested in a VR/AR environment to simulate grabbing different geometric objects, such as a sphere, a wall, a cylinder, etc.
A research paper is in preparation for submission to CHI 2020.

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Design one: Spring-String based mechanism

This mechanism modifies a commerical retractable badge and uses its coil spring as the rewinding mechanism, and uses a ratchet gear with a solenoid as the parking mechanism.

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Version one uses a 10-turn potentiometer as the tracking mechanism, which is replaced by Computer Vision tracking using a Leap Motion.

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Version two, which is final design of this project has several advantages. It is cheap, light-weight, and compact, comparing to the second design (below).

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Design two: Motor-String based mechanism

This mechanism uses a DC motor as the rewinding mechanism. This design also uses a ratchet gear with a solenoid as the parking mechanism.
Likewise, version 2 replaced the 10-turn potentiometer with Computer Vision.

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Next Steps

The project is currently moving towards the user study phase. Using Unity to simulate an environment of different objects (a cube or a wall) and Leap Motion to track finger location, we will be able to test the performance of this force simulation mechanism. Thanks Prof. Harrison for modeling!

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