Our research goal was to explore use of air jets in the design of a haptic interface to create thrust forces on the user’s hand. We mainly focused on reflecting gravitational forces to the user so that sensation of weight of a virtual object can be created in a virtual environment.
The Air-Glove uses six air nozzles mounted in a Cartesian coordinate frame setting to apply a force to the user’s wrist. At any given time, only three nozzles exhaust air jets. The magnitude and direction of the applied force are controlled by changing the flow rate of the air jets and by activating different nozzles, as the user’s hand position and orientation are changing.
Precise control of the magnitude of each air jet was achieved by implementing a digital controller and servo valves. Experiments indicated that user could distinguish as little as 50-100 grams (~2-3 oz.) of weight difference between two virtual objects using the Air-Glove.
- “AirGlove: A force feedback device for virtual reality,” Proceedings of Telemanipulation and Telepresence Technologies VIII, SPIE Conference, Proc. SPIE vol. 4570, pp. 69-77, Boston, MA, October 2001.
Funded by a grant from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation