Mandayam A. Srinivasan
Res. Lab. of Electron., MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139
The term haptics refers to manual interactions with the environment. The development of virtual haptic environments requires a good match between the haptic capabilities of the human user and the performance of the interface devices. A haptic interface can be viewed as having two basic functions: (1) to measure the positions and forces (and time derivatives) of the user's hand and other body parts, and (2) to display forces and positions (and/or their spatial and temporal distributions) to the user. The biomechanical, sensorimotor, and cognitive abilities of the human set the specifications for the haptic interfaces. How well these specifications can be achieved by the interfaces depends on the mechanical design, sensorimotor control, and computational capabilities of the devices. In this talk, an overview of the issues in the development of haptic environments will be presented from the perspectives of human studies, interface device development, and computations.