Haptics-Based Systems Characteristics, Classification, and Applications

Haptics-Based Systems Characteristics, Classification, and Applications

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7368-5.ch058
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Haptics-based systems have had a significant impact in a variety of fields, such as surgical simulation, rehabilitation, technology designed to help the blind and visually impaired, education and training, entertainment and leisure activities such as video games, art and design, online consumer activity, security, and mobile phones. Despite this, haptics-based applications are still in their infancy, and their development is ongoing. In this chapter, the authors present the concept of haptics, its characteristics, classification, and applications. Thus, the outline of the chapter is as follows: Section 2 defines the concept of haptics. Section 3 presents the components of haptics-based system architecture in a virtual environment. Section 4 provides the characteristics and classification of haptic devices. Section 5 presents examples of haptics-based systems in different areas. Finally, Section 6 concludes the chapter with future research directions.
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Background: The Concept Of Haptics

The concept of haptics is derived from the Greek verb haptesthai which means ‘to touch’. It refers to the science of sensation and manipulation by touch for the purpose of perception or modification of the environment (Abdulmotaleb El Saddik et al., 2011), (M. Eid et al., 2007), (Mihelj, Novak, & Begus, 2014). Touch is divided into two forms: the tactile (also called cutaneous) sense, and the kinesthetic (also called proprioceptive or force) sense (Abdulmotaleb El Saddik et al., 2011), (Benali-khoudja, Hafez, Alex, & Kheddar, 2004). The tactile sense refers to the registering of physical contact with a real object through skin receptors. It provides the individual with information about an object; this includes texture, pressure, temperature, wetness, softness, friction, vibration, and shape. Conversely, the kinesthetic sense of touch means feeling motion through awareness of position and movement of body parts as well as muscular efforts that are conveyed to the individual by sensory receptors in joints, tendons, and muscles when touching and manipulating items. The kinesthetic sense tells the individual about the movement of joints, velocity, muscle control, and weight. The human hand features both types of touch (Abdulmotaleb El Saddik et al., 2011), (Mihelj et al., 2014).

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