This course will give an authoritative overview of various haptic rendering techniques and applications. The expert practitioners from academia and industry will cover widely accepted and proven methodologies. The methods discussed will be tied to their most appropriate applications, ranging from scientific visualization, medical training, virtual prototyping, to creative processes.
To date, most human–computer interactive systems have focused primarily on the graphical rendering of visual information and, to a lesser extent, on the display of auditory information. Among all senses, the human haptic system provides unique and bidirectional communication between humans and their physical environment. Extending the frontier of visual computing, haptic interfaces, or force feedback devices, have the potential to increase the quality of human-computer interaction by accommodating the sense of touch. They provide an attractive augmentation to visual display and enhance the level of understanding of complex data sets. They have been effectively used for a number of applications including molecular docking, manipulation of nano-materials, surgical training, virtual prototyping and digital sculpting.
Compared with visual and auditory display, haptic rendering has extremely demanding computational requirements. In order to maintain a stable system while displaying smooth and realistic forces and torques, haptic update rates of 1 KHz or more are typically used. Haptics presents many new challenges to researchers and developers in computer graphics and interactive techniques. Some of the critical issues include the development of novel data structures to encode shape and material properties, as well as new techniques for data processing, information analysis, physical modeling, and haptic visualization.
This course will examine some of the latest developments on haptic rendering and applications, while looking forward to exciting future research in this area. We will present novel haptic rendering algorithms and innovative applications that take advantage of haptic sensory modality. Specifically we will discuss different rendering techniques for various geometric representations (e.g. point-based, volumetric, polygonal, multiresolution, NURBS, distance fields, etc) and physical properties (rigid bodies, deformable models, fluid medium, etc), as well as textured surfaces and full-body interaction (e.g. wearable haptics). We will also show how psychophysics of touch can provide the foundational design guidelines for developing perceptually driven force models and discuss issues to consider in validating new rendering techniques and evaluating haptic interfaces.
In addition, we will also look at different approaches to design touch-enabled interfaces for various applications, ranging from medical training, model design and maintainability analysis for virtual prototyping, scientific visualization, 3D painting and mesh editing, to data acquisition for multi-modal display. These recent advances indicate promising potentials that haptic interfaces together with interactive 3D graphics can offer a faster and more natural way of interacting with virtual environments and complex datasets in diverse applications.