Feeling the full force of haptic technology

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Nahavandi oversees a staff of 100 researchers from a vary of disciplines, including mechanical, electrical, electronics and software package engineering, as nicely as from fields such as psychology. The goal is to use robotics, simulation modelling and haptics to provide realistic remedies to genuine-planet complications, and to commercialise their innovations. 

One these innovation incorporates HaptiScan, a haptically enabled robotic ultrasound technique that permits sonographers to complete scans remotely. The time period “haptic” derives from the Greek haptikos, that means the capability to touch or grasp. It is this feeling that Nahavandi has expended the previous 30 many years hoping to capture in his function.

“When I delved into robotic investigate with tactile sensing in the 1990s, I realised that improvements in haptic units had remained stagnant because the technological know-how had not expanded past one-point sensation and was minimal to solitary finger, probe-like functions,” he reported. 

Nahavandi set about developing a resolution, ultimately building the world’s to start with multi-issue haptic manage technique. This breakthrough fundamentally altered haptic technology, allowing buyers to “feel” the attributes of digital objects, these types of as roughness, hardness and elasticity, opening up a full new planet of augmented actuality and VR encounters. 

“Leveraging the multi-point haptics manage creation, we’ve been in a position to establish a number of units, which includes haptic steering wheels, helicopter command sticks, seats for motion simulators and grippers for health-related simulators,” he said. 

“To a member of the general public, my work could look a little bit innovative, but to me it is incremental. I’m constantly imagining about where technology is going to be in the next 20 or 30 a long time.”