A Multichannel Pneumatic Analog Control System for Haptic Displays

Presentation on Late-Breaking Work at CHI


Soft robotics use in haptic devices continues to grow, with pneumatic control being a common actuation source. Typical control systems used, however, rely on a digital on/of control allowing only inflation/deflation at a set rate. This limits the degrees of freedom available when designing haptic experiences. We present an alternative system to allow the use of analog control of the pneumatic waveform profiles to design and experiment with haptic devices, and to determine the optimum wave profile for the desired experience. Using a combination of of-the-shelf components and a user interface, our system allows for rapid experimentation with various pressure levels, and the ability to control waveform profiles in a common format such as attack-sustain-release. In this paper, we demonstrate that by altering the attack and release profiles we can create a more pleasant pulsing sensation on the wrist, and a more continuous sensation for communicating movement around the wrist.

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