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Advanced, synthetic haptic virtual environments require textured virtual surfaces. We found that texturing smooth surfaces often reduces the system passivity margin of a haptic simulation. As a result, a smooth virtual surface that can be rendered in a passive manner may loose this property once textured. We propose that any texture algorithm is associated with a characteristic number that expresses the relative change in loop gain. We further found that a passive virtual interaction can have severe unwanted artifacts if the synthesized force field is not conservative. The energy characteristics of seven algorithms are analyzed. Finally, a new texture synthesis algorithm, which operates by modulating a friction force during scanning, is shown to have several advantages over previous ones.
Date of Publication: June 2008