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In this paper, we present a novel use of haptic information in extended range telepresence, the wide-area haptic guidance. It consists of force and position signals applied to the user's hand in order to improve safety, accuracy, and speed in some telepresent tasks. Wide-area haptic guidance assists the user in reaching a desired position in a remote environment of arbitrary size without degrading the feeling of presence. Several methods for haptic guidance are analyzed. With active haptic guidance, the user is guided by superimposed forces that pull him into the desired direction of motion, whereas under passive haptic guidance, the movement of the user is lightened in the preferred direction and constrained in the other directions. By using closed-loop haptic guidance instead of open-loop haptic guidance, not only is the user guided to his target but also the deviation from the desired target path is reduced. The proposed guidance methods were tested with a haptic interface specifically designed for extended range telepresence.
Date of Conference: 18-22 Oct. 2010