MRS-Tex: A Magnetically Responsive Soft Tactile Device for Texture Display
PubDate: October 2021
Teams: Beihang University；Peng Cheng Laboratory；The University of Auckland
Writers: Yuan Guo; Qianqian Tong; Xianzhong Liu; Xuesong Bian; Zhihao Zhang; Yuru Zhang; Weiliang Xu; Dangxiao Wang
Tactile devices provide an intuitive way for texture display, which allows users to perceive the detailed surface properties of virtual or remote objects. For existing tactile devices that create actual topographical transformations, it remains challenging to render surface textures with high spatial resolution due to the limitation of the size of actuators. To address this challenge, a magnetically responsive soft actuator with a diameter of 1 mm is proposed. Integrating the high-density soft actuator array and a soft membrane bracket, we develop a magnetically responsive soft tactile device (named MRS-Tex) for texture display. When a magnetic field is applied, the magnetic units will sink to form pits, and the soft membrane bracket resists the finger pressure so that users can perceive the rendered surface texture. Thanks to the proposed sunken solution, MRS-Tex is capable of rendering surface textures with millimeter-level resolution (1.5 mm) while providing a sufficient upward holding force. Moreover, we conduct quantitative experiments and two user studies to evaluate the performance of MRS-Tex. Experimental results show that MRS-Tex can generate pits with a depth of more than 0.20 mm, which is sufficient for rendering perceivable surface textures. The average discrimination accuracy of user study can reach up to 82% for both six basic texture patterns and four complex texture patterns.