The Cutting Edge of Haptic Research
October 23, 2008 04:36 PM EST - submitted by
Using tools such as graphical system design, reserachers are developing new, safer ways of interacting with machines that also permit more efficient operation. Have you ever played a car racing video game that shakes when you go off-road? If so, you have interacted with a haptic interface. The word haptic comes from the Greek haptikos, which means to touch, grasp, or perceive.
With haptic robotics, a user can feel a remote or virtual environment. A haptic interface provides sensory feedback — typically in the form of pressure or physical resistance — so users feel as if they are physically interacting with something, even though they are not. For example, a haptic interface may be used to provide a feeling of resistance in the rudder controls of a flight simulator. The feedback would help the pilot know when to apply more or less force to the instruments.