Haptic Workstation - Feel your way through virtual reality
By Mike Hanlon
June 4, 2004
Immersion Corporation has released a new interactive 3-D "Haptic Workstation" that promises to be the ultimate virtual prototyping tool for designers and CAD users. The Haptic incorporates right-hand and left-hand CyberForce and related feedback systems that introduce the sense of touch into human/computer interaction.
CyberForce provides realistic feedback to the user allowing the "weight" of a virtual object or the resistance of a virtual steering wheel to be experienced as well as measuring the position and rotation of the hand in three dimensions. The "gloves" are mounted on vertically adjustable columns as part of the workstation enabling the user to be seated or standing and forces are applied to each of the fingers and hands.
The Haptic can also be configured to include an electrically adjustable car seat, head-mounted display and hand-interaction software that directly loads CAD models for virtual interaction. Apart from its design applications the Haptic workstation and "Cyber" touch systems are also finding extensive uses in medicine, virtual reality training and simulation and the remote handling of hazardous materials.