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Development of a wearable haptic display for situation awareness in altered-gravity environment: some initial findings

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2 Author(s)
Traylor, R. ; Haptic Interface Res. Lab., Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN, USA ; Tan, H.Z.

Efforts are under way to develop a wearable haptic display that can impart directional information on a user's back for situation awareness. To date, two studies have been conducted aboard the NASA KC-135A reduced gravity aircraft to investigate the perception of tactile information in altered-gravity environments. This paper reports our results on perceived loudness of vibrotactile stimulation under different gravity conditions. Subjects compared seven fixed-frequency varying-amplitude vibrations in 1.8-g to a reference vibration delivered in zero-g using the method of constant stimuli. Our results show that the points of subjective equality (PSE) measured in 1.8-g are essentially the same as the intensity of the reference signal delivered in zero-g. The difference between PSE and the reference is less than the difference threshold (DL) measured in 1.8-g. We also found that the displacements (measured with an accelerometer) produced by our tactors in one-g and zero-g conditions are the same using identical driving waveforms. Our data suggest that the perceived loudness of vibrotactile stimuli remains the same in altered-gravity environments. However, a user's ability to interpret vibrotactile signals in zero-g environment may be hampered by increased cognitive load due to the need to continuously monitor the position and movement of one's body

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Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems, 2002. HAPTICS 2002. Proceedings. 10th Symposium on

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