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Haptic Glove With MR Brakes for Virtual Reality

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2 Author(s)
Blake, J. ; Sch. of Eng. & Comput. Sci., Washington State Univ. Vancouver, Vancouver, WA, USA ; Gurocak, H.B.

Haptic gloves open up the world of force feedback by allowing the user to pick up and feel virtual objects in a natural way. In most of the existing gloves, a remote box houses a large number of actuators and sensors. Power to the glove is transmitted via cables. If the haptic gloves were smaller, lighter, and easier to use and control, they could become more common as human-machine interfaces. Recent developments show that actuators based on active fluids, such as the magnetorheological (MR) fluids, can be viable alternatives in haptics. But these devices are desk- or floor-mounted and use relatively large MR brakes. In this research, we developed a compact MR brake that is about 25 mm in diameter, weighs 84 g, and can apply up to 899 Nmiddotmm torque. The compact size was achieved by stacking steel and aluminum rings to create a serpentine flux path through the fluid. Six brakes were used to build a force feedback glove called MR glove. The glove weighs 640 g and does not require any remote actuators. Results of usability experiments showed that the MR glove improved task completion times in grasping virtual objects and could convey stiffness information to the user.

Published in:

Mechatronics, IEEE/ASME Transactions on  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 5 )