Creating a sensation of touch to the user when interacting with a remote or virtual object is called Haptic feedback. The feedback enables users to manipulate objects and perform complex tasks in virtual environments in a more realistic sense and with higher accuracy. In training simulators is beneficial for the acquisition of practical experience.
We proposed a pseudo-haptic feedback method conveying simulated soft surface stiffness information through a visual interface. The method exploits a combination of two feedback techniques, namely visual feedback of soft surface deformation and control of the indenter avatar speed, to convey stiffness information of a simulated surface of a soft object in virtual environments, see the Figure below. The proposed method was effective in distinguishing different sizes of virtual hard nodules integrated into the simulated soft bodies. To further improve the interactive experience, the approach was extended creating a multi-point pseudo-haptic feedback system. See below publications for further details on this research.
Li, M., Sareh, S., Xu, G., Ridzuan, M.B., Luo, S., Xie, J., et al. (2016) Evaluation of Pseudo-Haptic Interactions with Soft Objects in Virtual Environments. PLoS ONE 11(6): e0157681.
Li, M., Ridzuan, M., Sareh, S., Seneviratne, L.D., Dasgupta, P., Althoefer K. (2014) Pseudo-haptics for rigid tool/soft surface interaction feedback in virtual environments, Journal of Mechatronics, Volume 24, Issue 8, Pages 1092-1100.
Li, M., Sareh, S., Ridzuan, M., Senviratne, L., Dasgupta, P., Wudermann, H., Althoefer, K. (2014) Multi-Fingered Palpation using Pseudo-Haptic Feedback, Hamyln Symposium on Medical Robotics.