Here are a few pictures from the Haptics Class Project Open House on April 30, 2010.
In this project, a thermoelectric device is presented for use as a haptic feedback mechanism. The device consists of three independently controlled thermoelectric circuits integrated into a single array, sandwiched between two sheets of vinyl substrate. The array was designed to be fitted against the subject's skin with potential applications as a haptic sensory substitution device. With independent control of the three circuits, it is possible to have a single circuit operate under a heating mode while the others operate under cooling. If presented in a static equilibrated condition this effectively conveys the "thermal grille" illusion. With a satisfactory characterization of the time taken to transition from maximum to minimum temperature when polarity is reversed, it is proposed that by timing the circuit switching so that as soon as the heating circuit has reached the maximum operating temperature, its polarity would reverse and one of the cold circuits could be switched to heating. In this way, there would at all times be a single element undergoing a positive tempera- ture change, conveying the sensation of constant heating without ever exceeding a maximum safe temperature on the user's skin.