Skip to Main Content
The primary purpose of this research is to determine which is more effective, kinesthetic or vibrotactile cues, when presenting spatial information with haptic devices. Recent studies have explored the use of tactile cues; however, they were confined to a unilateral display device. Although many kinesthetic bilateral haptic devices have been developed to provide force feedback on an input handle, a vibrotactile stimulus has not been utilized when presenting directional information on the input handle. This paper attempts to adopt vibrotactile cues to design a bilateral device. In addition, a new six degrees of freedom bilateral haptic device, which provides a spatial sensation on the handle, is proposed. The sphere-shaped handle is, especially, designed to be covered by several vibrating panels. When a specific panel is activated, the user perceives the spatial location of the vibrotactile stimulus from that panel during the input operation. Control schemes that are based on the phantom sensation, one of haptic illusory phenomena, are proposed to achieve fine resolution with a limited number of tactors. Two experiments were conducted, in an effort to compare performance between a kinesthetic and a vibrotactile haptic device. The results showed that the vibrotactile cue provides a better method of perceiving the directional information as compared with kinesthetic feedback.