Haptesha - A Collaborative Multi-User Haptic Workspace

Haptic feedback is an essential and emerging technology for many applications, ranging from virtual assembly simulation to mobile computing. It can help to improve human-computer interaction as well as, in multi-user scenarios, human-human interactions in many fields like industrial applications, entertainment, education, medicine and arts.
We present a haptic workspace that allows high fidelity two-handed multi-user interactions in scenarios containing a large number of dynamically simulated rigid objects and a polygon count that is only limited by the capabilities of the graphics card.

The main challenge when doing haptic rendering is the extremely high frequency that is required: While the temporal resolution of the human eye is limited to approximately 30 Hz, the bandwidth of the human tactile system is about 1000 Hz. In most haptic scenarios, the computational bottleneck remains the collision detection, whereas the force computation can be done relatively fast.
Thus, the heart of our haptic workspace is our new geometric data structure, called Inner Sphere Trees (ISTs), that not only allows us to detect collisions between pairs of massive objects at haptic rates but also enables us to define a novel type of contact information that guarantees stable forces and torques.
For further informations about ISTs please visit our project website.

Picture of our Haptic Workspace

Our haptic workspace set up for two users and four Novint Falcons.

Haptesha - The Game

Based on our haptic workspace we have developed a haptic multiplayer game that requires from the players complex bi-manual interactions simultaneously in the same environment. Besides a user survey, we included several mechanisms to track the quality of the users actions in the game for a quantitative and qualitative analysis.

The results show that 6-DOF force-feedback devices outperform 3-DOF devices significantly, both in user perception and in user performance.

6DOFWorkspace 6DOFPlayfield
The two-player set up with four haptic devices for our user study (Left). The playing field of our haptic game (Right).


Videos on Youtube

Haptesha: A Collaborative Multi-User Haptic Workspace

The scene contains more than 20 objects and a total polygon count of 3 millions running on a simple consumer PC with an Intel Core 2 Duo E6700. The haptic devices allow only three DOFs, but the architecture of our workspace supports full six DOF force rendering.

3-DOF vs. 6-DOF - Playful Evaluation of Complex Haptic Interactions

Based in our workspace, we present a novel multiplayer game that supports qualitative as well as quantitative evaluation of different haptic devices in demanding haptic interaction tasks.

This video is accepted for the video session of the IEEE VR 2011 conference in Singapore.




This work was partially supported by DFG grant ZA292/1-1 and the research project, founded by the Federal Minstry of Education and Research (BMBF) grant Avilus / 01 IM 08 001 U.