AIST Develops Force Feedback Virtual Reality Display Interface Device
Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), working in coordination with the University of Tsukuba, has developed a force/torque hybrid display interface device called "GyroCubeSensuous" capable of displaying senses such as "push, draw and buoyancy." GyroCubeSensuous is an interface device that generates both translational and rotational (torque) forces for use in virtual reality environments. Conventional interface devices for displaying the tactile sense of an object (touch) or the sense of the object's reaction (force) have had problems, such as a large size due to the use of pins and manipulating arms as the main tools for displaying data. Also, the operator's movements are restricted because he/she is connected to the interface through mechanical arms and wires.
With the GyroCubeSensous device, a plurality of rotary elements are incorporated into the interface device and angular momentum is regulated to generate force or torque of a given intensity in a desired direction to inform the operator about the presence of a virtual object and the intensity of the impact of a collision with this object. In a study, the senses of torque, force, and fluctuation were displayed in a single system by a synchronized control of the rotation directions and phases of two eccentric rotors. The palm-sized instrument applies the characteristics of human sensation and allows, by repeating forward/reverse fluctuations causing only slight displacements, the operator to feel a force only in the forward direction. As a result, the operator senses the force as fed back to him/her, with the GyroCubeSensous device growing heavier and then lighter, or buoyant in his/her palm.
Motohiko Hamada, Nikkei Monozukuri