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Encyclopedia > Haptic
This article is about haptic technology. For the study of touching behaviour in humans, see Haptics. For the biology of sensory receptors, see Somatosensory system.

Haptic, from the Greek αφή (Haphe), means pertaining to the sense of touch (or possibly from the Greek word haptesthai meaning “contact” or “touch”). Image File history File links Broom_icon. ... Haptic means pertaining to the technology of touch. ... Somatic sensation consists of the various sensory receptors that trigger the experiences labelled as touch or pressure, temperature (warm or cold), pain (including itch and tickle), and the sensations of muscle movement and joint position including posture, movement, and facial expression (collectively also called proprioception). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Haptic technology refers to technology which interfaces the user via the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations and/or motions to the user. This mechanical stimulation is used to create haptic virtual objects. This emerging technology promises to have wide reaching applications. In some fields, it already has. For example, haptic technology has made it possible to investigate in detail how the human sense of touch works, by allowing the creation of carefully-controlled haptic virtual objects. These objects are used to systematically probe human haptic capabilities. This is very difficult to achieve otherwise. These new research tools contribute to our understanding of how touch and its underlying brain functions work (See References below).

Although haptic devices are capable of measuring bulk or reactive forces that are applied by the user it should not to be confused with touch or tactile sensors that measure the pressure or force exerted by the user to the interface.



One of the earliest forms of haptic devices is used in large modern aircraft that use servo systems to operate control systems. Such systems tend to be "one-way" in that forces applied aerodynamically to the control surfaces are not perceived at the controls, with the missing normal forces simulated with springs and weights. In earlier, lighter aircraft without servo systems, as the aircraft approached a stall the aerodynamic buffeting was felt in the pilot's controls, a useful warning to the pilot of a dangerous flight condition. This control shake is not felt when servo control systems are used. To replace this missing clue, the angle of attack is measured, and when it approaches the critical stall point a "stick shaker" (an unbalanced rotating mass) is engaged, simulating the effects of a simpler control system. This is known as haptic feedback or force feedback. “Flying Machine” redirects here. ... Look up servo in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For the Daft Punk song, see Aerodynamic (song). ... In aerodynamics, a stall is a condition in which an excessive angle of attack causes loss of lift due to disruption of airflow. ...

Teleoperators and simulators

Teleoperators are remote controlled robotic tools, and when contact forces are reproduced to the operator, it is called "haptic teleoperation". The first electrically actuated teleoperators were built in the 1950's at the Argonne National Lab, USA, by Dr. Raymond C. Goertz, to remotely handle radioactive substances. Since then, the use of "force feedback" has become more widespread in all kinds of teleoperators such as underwater exploration devices controlled from a remote location. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Telepresence. ...

When such devices are simulated using a computer (as they are in operator training devices) it is useful to provide the force feedback that would be felt in actual operations. Since the objects being manipulated do not exist in a physical sense, the forces are generated using haptic (force generating) operator controls. Data representing touch sensations may be saved or played back using such haptic technologies.

Haptic simulators are currently used in medical simulators and flight simulators for pilot training (2004). Wooden mechanical horse simulator during WWI. A simulation is an imitation of some real thing, state of affairs, or process. ...


Some low-end haptic devices are already common in the form of joysticks and game controllers. At first, such features and/or devices used to be optional components (like the Nintendo 64 controller's Rumble Pak). Now many of the newer generation console controllers and some joysticks feature built in devices. Many have believed these controllers to be providing force feedback when in reality true force feedback involves the feedback of a resisting force to the user.[citation needed] An example of this feature would be the simulated automobile steering wheels that are programmed to provide a "feel" of the road. As the user makes a turn or accelerates, the steering wheel responds by resisting turns or slipping out of control. Another concept of force feedback was that of the ability to change the temperature of the controlling device. This would prove especially efficient for prolonged usage of the device. However, due to the high cost of such a technology (not to mention the power drainage of such a component) the closest many manufacturers have come to realizing this concept has been to install air holes or small fans into the device to provide the user's hands with ventilation while operating the device. For other uses, see Joystick (disambiguation). ... A game controller is an input device used to control a video game. ... A Nintendo 64 gamepad with the Rumble Pak attached. ...

Haptics in virtual reality

Haptics is gaining widespread acceptance as a key part of Virtual Reality systems, adding the sense of touch to previously visual-only solutions. Most of these solutions use stylus-based haptic rendering, where the user interfaces to the virtual world via a tool or stylus, giving a form of interaction that is computationally realistic on today's hardware This article is about the simulation technology. ...


Some research has been done into simulating the different kinds of tactition by means of high-speed vibrations or other stimuli. One device of this type uses a pad array of pins, where the pins vibrate to simulate a surface being touched. While this does not have a realistic feel, it does provide useful feedback, allowing discrimination between various shapes, textures, and resiliencies. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Various haptic interfaces for medical simulation may prove especially useful for training of minimally invasive procedures (laparoscopy/interventional radiology) and remote surgery using teleoperators. In the future, expert surgeons may work from a central workstation, performing operations in various locations, with machine setup and patient preparation performed by local nursing staff. Rather than traveling to an operating room, the surgeon instead becomes a telepresence. A particular advantage of this type of work is that the surgeon can perform many more operations of a similar type, and with less fatigue. It is well documented that a surgeon who performs more procedures of a given kind will have statistically better outcomes for his patients. Laparoscopic surgery, also called keyhole surgery (when natural body openings are not used), bandaid surgery, or minimally invasive surgery (MIS), is a surgical technique. ... Interventional Radiology (abbreviated IR or sometimes IVR) is a subspecialty of radiology in which minimally invasive procedures are performed using image guidance. ...

In ophthalmology, "haptic" refers to a supporting spring, two of which hold an artificial lens within the lens capsule (after surgical removal of cataracts). This article is about the branch of medicine. ... Light from a single point of a distant object and light from a single point of a near object being brought to a focus by changing the curvature of the lens. ... The references in this article would be clearer with a different and/or consistent style of citation, footnoting or external linking. ...

A 'Virtual Haptic Back' (VHB) is being successfully integrated in the curriculum of students at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine.[1] Research indicates that VHB is a significant teaching aid in palpatory diagnosis (detection of medical problems via touch). The VHB simulates the contour and compliance (reciprocal of stiffness) properties of human backs, which are palpated with two haptic interfaces (SensAble Technologies, PHANToM 3.0).


The use of haptic devices in entertainment appeared in the 1932 futurist fiction book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. The author described a future entertainment theater where the arm rests of the seats had positions for the hands to rest that gave haptic stimulation. The programs exhibited were of an erotic nature and rather than "the movies" these theaters and shows were called "the feelies". Haptic devices, including self-propelled haptics, feature prominently in Vernor Vinge's 2006 novel Rainbows End. For other uses, see Brave New World (disambiguation). ... Aldous Leonard Huxley (July 26, 1894 – November 22, 1963) was an English writer and one of the most prominent members of the famous Huxley family. ... Eroticism is an aesthetic focused on sexual desire, especially the feelings of anticipation of sexual activity. ... This article is about motion pictures. ... Vernor Steffen Vinge (IPA: ) (born February 10, 1944) is a mathematician, computer scientist and science fiction author who is best known for his Hugo award-winning novels A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky, as well as for his 1993 essay The Technological Singularity, in which... Rainbows End (ISBN 0312856849) is a novel by Vernor Vinge. ...

Remote sexual relations

One envisioned use of haptics is for "teledildonics". Some sex toys are now available which can be computer controlled; normally this comes in the form of an online movie or Web site which sends commands to the toy at scripted moments. Dildonics are electronic sex toys that can be controlled by a computer. ... A sex toy is a term for any object or device that is primarily used in facilitating human sexual pleasure. ...


The Shadow Dextrous Robot Hand uses the sense of touch, pressure, and position to reproduce the human grip in all its strength, delicacy, and complexity.[2] The SDRH was first developed by Richard Greenhill and his team of engineers in Islington, London, as part of The Shadow Project, (now known as the Shadow Robot Company) an ongoing research and development program whose goal is to complete the first convincing humanoid. An early prototype can be seen in NASA's collection of humanoid robots, or robonauts.[3] The Dextrous Hand has haptic sensors embedded in every joint and in every finger pad which relay information to a central computer for processing and analysis. Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania and Bielefeld University in Germany in particular have found The Dextrous Hand is an invaluable tool in progressing our understanding of haptic awareness and are currently involved (2006) in research with wide ranging implications. Arms of Islington London Borough Council Islington Town Hall Islington is a borough of London to the north of the City of London, west of Hackney, east of Camden, and south of Haringey. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...


Touching is not limited to a feeling, but it allows interactivity in real-time with virtual objects. Thus haptics are commonly used in virtual arts, such as sound synthesis or graphic design/animation. The haptic device allows the artist to have direct contact with a virtual instrument which is able to produce real-time sound or images. We can quote the physical modelling synthesis which is an efficient modelling theory to implement cross-play interaction between sound, image, and physical objects. For instance, the simulation of a violin string produces real-time vibrations of this string under the pressure and expressivity of the bow (haptic device) held by the artist. ‹ The template below has been proposed for deletion. ... The term synthesiser is also used to mean frequency synthesiser, an electronic system found in communications. ... The story of graphic design spans the history of humankind from the caves of Lascaux to the dazzling neons of Ginza. ... The bouncing ball animation (below) consists of these 6 frames. ... Physical modelling synthesis is the synthesis of sound by using a set of equations and algorithms to simulate a physical source of sound. ...


  1. ^ http://www.ent.ohiou.edu/~bobw/html/VHB/VHB.html
  2. ^ http://www.shadowrobot.com/hand/
  3. ^ http://robonaut.jsc.nasa.gov/robonaut.html
  • Monkman. G.J. ‑ An Electrorheological Tactile Display ‑ Presence (Journal of Teleoperators and Virtual Environments) ‑ Vol. 1, issue 2, pp. 219-228, MIT Press, July 1992.
  • Klein. D, D. Rensink, H. Freimuth, G.J. Monkman, S. Egersdörfer, H. Böse & M. Baumann - Modelling the Response of a Tactile Array using an Electrorheological Fluids - Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, vol 37, no. 5, pp794-803, 2004
  • Klein. D, H. Freimuth, G.J. Monkman, S. Egersdörfer, A. Meier, H. Böse M. Baumann, H. Ermert & O.T. Bruhns - Electrorheological Tactile Elements - Mechatronics - Vol 15, No 7, pp883-897 - Pergamon, September 2005.

See also

Look up haptic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

  Results from FactBites:
Haptic (587 words)
Haptic is a term referring to the technology of touch.
One of the earliest forms of haptic devices is used in large modern aircraft that use servo systems to operate control systems.
One envisioned use of haptics is for " teledildonics ".
Haptic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1572 words)
It is the earliest sense to develop in the fetus, and the development of infants' haptic senses, and how that relates to the development of the other senses such as vision, has been the target of much research.
Haptic simulators are currently used in medical simulators and flight simulators for pilot training (2004).
Haptics is gaining widespread acceptance as a key part of Virtual Reality systems, adding the sense of touch to previously visual-only solutions such as 'The Wedge' and more recently in laptop-based VR solutions such as the '3D-Mobile Immersive Workstation'.
  More results at FactBites »



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