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Stability of a haptic interface is an important issue in virtual reality because an operator directly touches haptic interface devices. Stability is influenced by the sampling period and the discrete-time property of the control system. For decreasing the sampling system influence, this paper proposes a haptic device with an analog circuit which is placed between the computer and the haptic device. The circuit functions as springs and dampers. The control system can specify stiffness, damping coefficients, and their equilibrium. Since the impedance generated by the electric spring and damper can work continuously within the sampling period, it is effective for making the system more stable. We also develop a control method for displaying a static virtual object with the proposed device. Further, we discuss the effects of the proposed approach analytically, using passivity analysis for a 1-degree-of-freedom display system. Finally, some experimental results in a two-dimensional virtual environment are presented.
Date of Publication: March 2004