JRM Vol.18 No.4 pp. 467-475
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2006.p0467


A Study of Perceptual Performance in Haptic Virtual Environments

Marcia K. O’Malley and Gina Upperman

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, MEMS - MS 321, Houston, TX 77005-1892, USA

January 9, 2006
March 23, 2006
August 20, 2006
haptic interface, perception, virtual environments, performance

The performance levels of human subjects in size identification and size discrimination experiments in both real and virtual environments are presented. The virtual environments are displayed with a PHANToM desktop three degree-of-freedom haptic interface. Results indicate that performance of the size identification and size discrimination tasks in the virtual environment is comparable to that in the real environment, implying that the haptic device does a good job of simulating reality for these tasks. Additionally, performance in the virtual environment was measured at below maximum machine performance levels for two machine parameters. The tabulated scores for the perception tasks in a sub-optimal virtual environment were found to be comparable to that in the real environment, supporting previous claims that haptic interface hardware may be able to convey, for these perceptual tasks, sufficient perceptual information to the user with relatively low levels of machine quality in terms of the following parameters: maximum endpoint force and maximum virtual surface stiffness. Results are comparable to those found for similar experiments conducted with other haptic interface hardware, further supporting this claim. Finally, it was found that varying maximum output force and virtual surface stiffness simultaneously does not have a compounding effect that significantly affects performance for size discrimination tasks.

Cite this article as:
Marcia K. O’Malley and Gina Upperman, “A Study of Perceptual Performance in Haptic Virtual Environments,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.18, No.4, pp. 467-475, 2006.
Data files:
  1. [1] T. C. Chan, and M. T. Turvey, “Perceiving the vertical distances of surfaces by means of a hand-held probe,” J. Exp. Psychol. Hum. Percept. Perform., Vol.17, No.2, pp. 347-358, May, 1991.
  2. [2] D. Barac-Cikoja, and M. T. Turvey, “Does perceived size depend on perceived distance? An argument from extended haptic perception,” Percept. Psychophys., Vol.57, No.2, pp. 216-224, Feb., 1995.
  3. [3] P. Buttolo, D. Kung, and B. Hannaford, “Manipulation in Real, Simulated, and Remote Environments,” Intelligent Systems for the 21st Century. Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Vol.5, pp. 4656-4661, 1995.
  4. [4] P. Richard, Ph. Coiffet, A. Kheddar, and R. England, “Human Performance Evaluation of Two Handle Haptic Devices in a Dextrous Virtural Telemanipulation Task,” Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, pp. 1543-1548, 1999.
  5. [5] B. J. Unger, A. Nicolaidis, P. J. Berkelman, A. Thompson, R. L. Klatzky, and R. L. Hollis, “Comparison of 3-D Haptic Peg-in-Hole Tasks in Real and Virtual Environments,” IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems, Vol.3, pp. 1751-1756, 2001.
  6. [6] A. M. West, and M. R. Cutkosky, “Detection of Real and Virtual Fine Surface Features with a Haptic Interface and Stylus,” Proceedings of the ASME IMECE, DSC-Vol.61, pp. 159-166, 1997.
  7. [7] M. Shimojo, M. Shinohara, and Y. Fukui, “Human Shape Recognition Performance for 3D Tactile Display,” Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Vol.4, pp. 3192-3197, 1997.
  8. [8] M. O’Malley, and M. Goldfarb, “On the Ability of Humans to Haptically Identify and Discriminate Real and Simulated Objects,” Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, Vol.14, No.3, pp. 366-376, 2005.
  9. [9] S. L. Lederman, and R. L. Klatzky, “Haptic identification of common objects: Effects of constraining the manual exploration process,” Perception and Psychophysics, Vol.66, No.4, pp. 618-628, 2004.
  10. [10] M. K. O’Malley, and M. Goldfarb, “The effect of force saturation on the haptic perception of detail,” IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Vol.7, No.3, pp. 280-288, 2002.
  11. [11] M. O’Malley, and M. Goldfarb, “The Effect of Virtual Surface Stiffness on the Haptic Perception of Detail,” IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, Vol.9, No.2, pp. 448-454, 2004.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Mar. 05, 2021