“Deceiving Manipulation with a Palmtop Display” by Noma

  • ©Haruo Noma


Entry Number: 05


    Deceiving Manipulation with a Palmtop Display

Program Title:

    Digital Bayou



Project Affiliation:

    ATR Media Integration and Communications Research Lab


    Anew concept in unencumbered VR interfaces, this system involves integration of a large- screen video projector’s “window” into a virtual world, a robot arm that functions as a three-axis haptic display, and, mounted to the end of the arm, a small color LCD video monitor and a magnetic position sensor.

    The small LCD monitor serves as both a moveable viewer for close-ups of the virtual world and a remote manipulator. Using this repositionable display, users can center a 3D object and select that object by a single click of the button built into the back of the display. Haptic, audio, and visual feedback allow users to determine which object they have selected. All the objects have weight and can be rearranged within the tabletop area. To release an object, and return the display to its “viewer” state, users click the button again.

    Without using processor-intensive simulation of detailed physical phenomena, this system readily simulates rigid surfaces, such as tabletops, and provides collision detection and simulated magnetic attraction Though the system does not accurately simulate a real environment, the method efficiently deals with the discrepancy between the real and virtual environments, and enables natural, precise manipulation.

    For the Digital Bayou, the system presents an exercise that involves constructing a “Mikoshi” (a Japanese portable shrine). In this exercise, a more traditional glove-like VR manipulator device allows attendees to compare both ease of use and learning curve. There are practical applications for this system in the 3D CAD market and the emerging 3D authoring market.


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