A Study of Velocity-Dependent JND of Haptic Model Detail
Tang, John Ko-Han
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The study of haptics, or the sense of touch in virtual reality environments, is constantly looking for improvements in modeling with a high fidelity. Highly detailed models are desirable, but they often lead to slow processing times, which can mean a loss of fidelity in the force feedback sensations. Model compression techniques are critical to balancing model detail and processing time. One of the proposed compression techniques is to create multiple models of the same object but with different levels of detail (LOD) for each model. The technique hypothesizes that the human arm loses sensitivity to forces with the increase of its movement speed. This the compression technique determines which model to use based on the user's movement speed. This dissertation examines studies how the movement speed of the user affects the user's ability to sense changes in details of haptic models. Experiments are conducted using different haptic surfaces. Their levels of detail are changed while the subject interacts with them to mimic the effects of a multiresolution compression implementation. The tests focus on the subjects' ability to differentiate changes of the surfaces at each speed. The first experiment uses curved surfaces with multiple resolutions. This test observes the sensitivity of the user when the details on the surface are small. The results show that the subjects are more sensitive to changes of small details at a lower speed than higher speed. The second experiment measures sensitivity to larger features by using trapezoidal surfaces with different angles. The trapezoidal surfaces can be seen as a low-resolution haptic model with only two vertices, and changing the angles of the trapezoids is seen as changing the radii of curvature. With the same speed settings from the first experiment applied to the subjects, the sensitivity for changes in curvature is predicted to decrease with the increase of speed. However, the results of this experiment proved otherwise. The conclusions suggest that multiresolution designs are not a straightforward reduction of LOD, even though the movement speed does affect haptic sensitivity. The model's geometry should be taken into account when designing the parameters for haptic model compression. The results from the experiments provide insights to future haptic multiresolution compression designs.