Contact Force Compensated Thermal Stimulators for Holistic Haptic Interfaces

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We present a contact force compensated thermal stimulator that can provide a consistent temperature sensation on the human skin independent of the contact force between the thermal stimulator and the skin. Previous passive thermal stimulators were not capable of providing a consistent temperature on the human skin even when using identical heat source voltage due to an inconsistency of the heat conduction, which changes due to the force-dependent thermal contact resistance. We propose a force-based feedback method that monitors the contact force and controls the heat source voltage according to this contact force, thus providing consistent temperature on the skin. We composed a heat circuit model equivalent to the skin heat-transfer rate as it is changed by the contact forces; we obtained the optimal voltage condition for the constant skin heat-transfer rate independent of the contact force using a numerical estimation simulation tool. Then, in the experiment, we heated real human skin at the obtained heat source voltage condition, and investigated the skin heat transfer-rate by measuring the skin temperature at various times at different levels of contact force. In the numerical estimation results, the skin heat-transfer rate for the contact forces showed a linear profile in the contact force range of 1 similar to 3 N; from this profile we obtained the voltage equation for heat source control. In the experimental study, we adjusted the heat source voltage according to the contact force based on the obtained equation. As a result, without the heat source voltage control for the contact forces, the coefficients of variation (CV) of the skin heat-transfer rate in the contact force range of 1 similar to 3 N was found to be 11.9%. On the other hand, with the heat source voltage control for the contact forces, the CV of the skin heat-transfer rate in the contact force range of 1 similar to 3 N was found to be barely 2.0%, which indicate an 83.2% improvement in consistency compared to the skin heat-transfer rate without the heat source voltage control. The present technique provides a consistent temperature sensation on the human skin independent of the body movement environment; therefore, it has high potential for use in holistic haptic interfaces that have thermal displays.
Publisher
AMER SCIENTIFIC PUBLISHERS
Issue Date
2016-05
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Keywords

TACTILE; FEEDBACK; DISPLAY; MOUSE

Citation

JOURNAL OF NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY, v.16, no.5, pp.4422 - 4427

ISSN
1533-4880
DOI
10.1166/jnn.2016.11003
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/209107
Appears in Collection
BiS-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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