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Development of a wearable embedded system providing tactile and kinesthetic haptics feedback for 3D interactive applications

Roumeliotis Michail

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Year 2021
Type of Item Diploma Work
Bibliographic Citation Michail Roumeliotis, "Development of a wearable embedded system providing tactile and kinesthetic haptics feedback for 3D interactive applications", Diploma Work, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Technical University of Crete, Chania, Greece, 2021
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Over the last few decades, there has been growth in the Virtual Reality market, which created the demand for more sophisticated systems that simulate the human senses. Even though the audio and vision technologies have improved, the haptic technologies were mainly used for mobile phones and gaming controllers. However, nowadays more and more researchers start focusing on designing wearable haptic interfaces in order to provide tactile and kinesthetic feedback to users of interactive 3D applications, either mobile, in Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality.This thesis focuses on the implementation of such a haptic interface, which provides both tactile and kinesthetic feedback in 3D interactive applications. Specifically, it consists of an exoskeleton, which was designed in 3D CAD modeling software. This exoskeleton is placed on the top of the hand, and with five servo motors provide the kinesthetic feedback. The servo motors are controlled with a PWM/Servo driver board, which is connected with the Arduino microcontroller. Furthermore, the haptic interface provides tactilefeedback to the user through fifteen coin vibration motors, where one was placed on each fingertip, one on the bottom part of each finger, five on the top part of the palm, and one on the right side of the palm. These motors are also controlled from the Arduino microcontroller and offer three different levels of vibration.In order to present these features, a 3D multimodal and interactive application was created with the Unity gaming platform, where the user was able to feel and interact with the virtual objects. The interactive application implemented could be easily ported as a 3D or gaming application for Virtual or Augmented Reality headsets or for mobile platforms without major software modifications. Apart from the visual and haptic feedback, this application also provides coordinated audio feedback at the time when an interaction with the virtual object occurred. Last but not least, the hand was tracked and represented in this virtual environment through the device called Leap Motion Controller.

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