Yeongtae Jung, Joao Ramos

A Large Force Haptic Interface with Modular Linear Actuators

  • Control and Optimization
  • Control and Systems Engineering

This paper presents a haptic interface with modular linear actuators that addresses the limitations of conventional devices based on rotary joints. The proposed haptic interface is composed of parallel linear actuators that provide high backdrivability and small inertia. The performance of the haptic interface is compared to those of conventional mechanisms in terms of force capability, reflected inertia, and structural stiffness. High stiffness, large range of motion, and high force capability, which are in trade-off relationships in traditional haptic interfaces, are achieved. The device can apply up to 83 N continuously, i.e., three-fold more than most haptic devices. The theoretical minimum haptic force density and stiffness of the proposed mechanism are 1.3 to 1.9 and 37 times those of the conventional mechanisms under similar conditions, respectively. The system is scalable because the structural stiffness depends on only the timing belt stiffness, whereas that of conventional haptic interfaces is inversely proportional to the cube of the structural length. The modular actuator enables changes in the degrees of freedom (DOFs) for different applications. The proposed haptic interface was tested through an interaction experiment in a virtual environment with virtual walls.

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