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Haptic Technology: an animated explanation

 The animation below explains how haptic virtual objects are created using force-feedback technology. The animation also explains concepts such as haptic rendering and haptic interfaces.

To watch this animation, you will need Flash (tm). Over 90% of all browsers have it preinstalled.
Otherwise, you can download it for free here.

Click here for the haptic technology animation

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A note on the physical concepts used in the animation
The concept of force is used to describe how haptic virtual objects are created. Although it is possible to use equivalent, related physical concepts such as mechanical energy, force was used here for three main reasons: 

i) Force is a concept that is readily related to everyday experience. Its intuitive meaning provides a good approximation to its precise physical meaning. As a result, using the concept of force allows for a simple, accessible introduction to the workings of haptic technology. 

ii) The most commonly available haptic interfaces can be defined as force-producing devices, and they are used and programmed accordingly. 

iii) For many practical uses of haptic technology, the concept of force allows expressing haptic interaction in simple, convenient terms. 

However, as happens frequently when analyzing the physics of mechanical interaction (for example, when characterizing the dynamics of moving objects), using concepts such as mechanical energy instead of force may be simpler in some haptic technology applications (for example, the related mathematical analysis may be easier to perform). To decide which physical concepts are more useful in a particular situation, it is necessary to have a thorough understanding of physics.


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