Mechanical Engineering Students Win Best Paper at International Symposium

May 1, 2014

In an untethered magnetic haptic interface, a virtual wall is rendered in space by an electromagnetic system, and a fully un-tethered stylus with an embedded permanent magnet interacts with the virtual wall. An untethered stylus requires some form of external tracking; here, we use a camera with a controlled region-of-interest.
For their paper, “Factors affecting the design of untethered magnetic haptic interfaces,” authors, mechanical engineering Ph.D. candidates, Joseph Brink and Andrew Petruska, school of computing research associate David Johnson and mechanical engineering assistant professor Jake Abbott, were the 2014 winners of the Best Paper Award at the recent international IEEE Haptics Symposium held in Houston Texas.

Held since 1992, the symposium has become a vibrant forum where psychophysicists, engineers, and designers come together to share advances, spark new collaborations, and envision a future that benefits from rich physical interactions between humans and computers, generated through haptic (force and tactile) devices.

In their paper Brink et al explain that, “No matter how well designed, there will always be some inertia and friction from a small robotic device that will impact the haptic experience of the user. The practical consequence is that it is difficult to accurately render very low friction or very low inertia environments and tools. Magnetic haptic interfaces have received significant attention in the last decade, in part due to their potential to render low-friction environments, as they enable force transmission without a kinematic chain.”

Brink notes that, “With the goal of informing the design of future 2-D and 3-D interfaces we presented an analysis of the factors affecting the performance, workspace, and stability of untethered magnetic haptic interfaces.”

More about this research and the full paper can be found at the University of Utah, Utah Telerobotics web site. The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah is committed to providing students with broad-based, rigorous and progressive education.  By combining state-of-the-art facilities with renowned faculty, the department provides an education that gives students the necessary skills to become the next generation of innovators.

IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology. 2014 Haptics Symposium