Rehabilitation Engineering and Electromechanical Design Lab
Visual Influence of a Primarily Haptic Environment
As our society is thrust further and further into the digital age, haptic interfaces are becoming all the more common place. The majority of this technology comes in the form of adding haptic feedback to visually based systems. Despite this, there is a noticeable lack of information regarding visual feedback to primarily haptic systems. In response to this lack of data, this project aims to investigate how varying levels of visual information affect people's ability to navigate a haptically rendered virtual maze.
This virtual environment was accessed via a Phantom Omni that was set to render one of two mazes. Both the Phantom Omni and the PC that provided visual feedback were programmed using C++. Although two mazes were used in this study, it is important to note that only one maze was written and then inverted to provide that both mazes were inherently different but of the same difficulty level.
Our study tested students to see if any correlations occurred between gender and the strategies they chose to employ to complete the mazes. Our results supported our initial assumptions that the level of visual information provided would be the greatest factor in maze completion time. We were also correct in our assessment of maze type difficulty. The mazes were indeed of comparable difficulty and were easy to figure out given a minimal level of visual feedback. It would seem that the only piece of data that conflicted with current literature was our data that showed no difference in performance between male and female participants. More information can be seen here.
Last modified on Apr 30, 2014.