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Title:Haptic Display Using Vibration Motors for Surface Texture Characterization
Author(s):Ahn, Shawn
Contributor(s):Boppart, Stephen A.
Subject(s):haptic display
surface texture
edge density
vibration motors
Abstract:Interactive display research has been a rising field due to the prevalence of smartphones and touchscreen tablets. Among many forms of haptic feedback in touch screens, the use of vibration motors has been a popular method. With the use of proper haptic feedback, touchscreen data may become accessible to people who are blind or have low vision, where they can feel the difference in texture in an image on a two-dimensional screen. This thesis explores the use of simple vibration motors used in common smartphones to trigger a wide range of frequencies, to induce proper frequency responses in skin mechanoreceptors, and to allow the detection of different surface textures in images. The methods presented here explore and characterize the difference in the surface texture of images using spatial frequencies obtained from the Fourier transform and edge density of subsections of images. The work includes the design of touchscreen hardware and vibration motors with a software interface to demonstrate an actual vibrotactile display. The work demonstrates that edge density of an image can be matched to an estimate of surface roughness in order to trigger a proper frequency response so that users can feel the difference in the texture of an image as they sweep through the screen with their fingers. Overall, this work builds a preliminary framework to implement a vibrotactile haptic display to show differences in surface textures in 2-D images using currently available vibration motors in smartphones.
Issue Date:2016-05
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-06-29

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