Designing haptic objects collaboratively

Eva-lotta Sallnäs

Fredrik Winberg

Björn Eiderbäck

Kajsa Bjerstedt-Blom 

Robert Flyg

Tobias Eklund

All at Royal Institute of Technology, IPLab


Design prototype

In the design application the test participants were able to feel the geometrical shape of objects and the objects tactile properties such as surface friction, size and softness (Figure 1a and b). Each participant had a proxy in the environment that they investigated the environment with. The sighted participant could also see a visual representation of the shared environment


Figure 1a. The design prototype viewed from the front.


  Figure 1b. The design prototype viewed from above.

The experimenter could build a scene in this application by using a haptic menu. It is then possible to simply push at the symbol of a shape on the menu and then place the object anywhere in the virtual space. It is also possible to save a scene, to upload an old scene and to delete an object by first pushing the button with the eraser on the menu and then push at an object. The experimenter can also change an objects size, surface friction and softness by moving a slide bar that can be activated through the menu bar. Finally, the experimenter can make an identical copy of an object that has been modified.

A laboratory test has been performed using this application the Hand-off and the Haptic collaboration application. Six visually impaired and six sighted adults participated in the laboratory test. The participants in the test were adults. The participants were placed in the same room during the tests. A paper screen was placed so that the sighted person could not see the visually impaired person (Figure 2).


  Figure 2. The two test participants sitting in front of one Reachin Display system each.

The participants were able to talk to each other during the test.  Each person used a desktop PHANToM device with two Reachin display systems. The two haptic systems were connected to one computer. The sighted person has stereo vision through Stereographics CrystalEyes 3 shutter glasses. Touch and vision are co-located for the sighted person. The test session ended with interviews with the two users together. The video recordings of the interaction in the shared visual/haptic virtual environments including the dialogue between the participants were analysed.

Results showed that it was possible for all sighted and a blind persons to successfully perform four tasks together in the three haptic collaborative environments.


Robert Flygs examensarbetsrapport:

Kajsa Bjerstedt-Bloms examensarbetsrapport:

Tobias Eklunds examensarbetsrapport: