Introduction to Haptics

Prof. Kenneth Salisbury
Stanford Depts of Computer Science and Surgery

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University September 24, 1999

This talk will introduce some aspects of the field of haptics. Emerging as a new and practical interface modality, haptic technology is beginning to provide users with a physical means for interacting with virtual and remote task environments. In applications ranging from the desktop to the operating room, haptic technology is moving out of the lab and becoming a commercially viable field. The class presentation will cover terminology, psychophysical issues, hardware past and present, rendering and applications.

Professor Salisbury received his PhD from Stanford in Mechanical Engineering in 1982. He then joined MIT where he served as Principal Research Scientist in Mechanical Engineering and as a member of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Some of the projects with which he has been associated include the development of the Stanford-JPL Robot Hand, the JPL Force Reflecting Hand Controller, the MIT-WAM arm, and the Black Falcon Surgical Robot. His work with haptic interface technology led to the founding of SensAble Technology, producers of the PHANTOM haptic interface and software. In 1997 he joined the staff at Intuitive Surgical, in Mountain View, where his efforts have focused on the development of telerobotic systems for the operating room. In the fall of 1999 he joined the faculty at Stanford in the Departments of Computer Science and Surgery.

At Stanford:

My research is focused on two areas, robotics and haptics. My work in robotics is in the development of new robot arm that will work in proximity, contact, and cooperation with humans. My second focus is on the development of haptic interfaces, rendering techniques and methods for physical interaction with virtual objects. In collaboration with the Department of Surgery and we are building a multi-person/multi-hand surgical simulator.
Under NASA funding we are developing a virtual environment for planetary geologists in which remote geophysical data can be viewed and felt.


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