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This paper reports the results of an experimental study on the perception of rough textures in virtual environments. The experiment is conducted with a haptic tactile actuator that provides sensations of rough textures directly to the fingertip of the users. It consists of a brush and a DC motor. The brush rubs directly against the user's fingertip. The speed and direction of the brush are varied to control the roughness of the virtual surface in an attempt to determine the effect of either variable on perceived roughness. The actuator is designed to be augmented with an existing force feedback device to create a package that provides both force feedback and tactile feedback. The aim of the experiment is to determine the magnitudes of rough textures that can be achieved through this device by comparing the virtual textures with real sandpapers of different grit sizes. The results show that although each subject's perception of roughness is biased using various sandpapers, the data is divided between two trends. One group of users perceives the roughness to increase with increasing speed while the other group perceives the roughness to decrease. Between both groups, the results do not show any significant effect of direction of rotation.
Date of Conference: 16-17 Oct. 2010