A cycling wheelchair is a useful transportation device for hemiplegic patients and aged people whose legs are weak. In general, practice is necessary for people who have not used a cycling wheelchair prior to going outside with it. In this study, we developed a system to let a user staying inside experience pedal feelings and panorama images recorded in an outside environment. In addition, to evaluate the system, data such as pedaling torque, heart rate, and subjective assessment were measured from some subjects while driving a cycling wheelchair with the system and driving in the real outside environment.
To find suitable textures that fill the bars of tactile bar charts created on capsule paper, we conducted tactile exploration experiments with blind persons as participants. In the experiments, we prepared 12 textures filling the bars: four colors (black, dark gray, pale gray, and white) and eight dot patterns with various dot sizes and pitches. We asked the participants to count the number of bars in the graph (Experiment 1) and to count the number of bars that extended over a designated grid line (Experiment 2). The difference among the textures were conspicuous in the results of Experiment 1. Black and dark gray colors and the dot patterns whose inter-dot spacings were 1.5 mm or less needed short exploring times and gained high ratings. These textures were concluded to be suitable to fill the bars. In contrast, white and pale gray colors and the dot patterns whose inter-dot spacings were 2.0 mm or more needed long exploring times and gained lower ratings.
In this paper, we introduce an interactive art called the Luminescent Tentacles with 256 shape-memory alloy (SMA) actuator arrays. The Luminescent Tentacles system is a scalable kinetic surface system with actuators that can bend in six directions. By waving a hand above the actuators, each actuator reacts to hand movement and the top of the actuator softly glows. The control program based on fluid dynamics controls the actuator movement like the wave propagation. The sound reaction to the hand movement creates music via software synthesizer. We discuss the possibilities of representation using SMA actuator arrays in an Interactive Art through fabrication and exhibition of the Luminescent Tentacles.
Blood sampling is one of the most difficult skills for beginners because it requires hand dexterity. The problem is that many students cannot acquire the skill sufficiently before graduating nursing course. We aimed to develop a learning support system which can evaluate venous blood sampling technique. However, the measurement method for evaluation has yet to exist. In this paper, we have developed the measurement system for blood sampling technique. Our measurement system could visualize the trajectory of the injection needle tip position and evaluate the blood sampling technique.
The Hanger Reflex is a phenomenon that a head rotates involuntarily when the head is fastened with a wire hanger. This phenomenon is also observed on the wrist, and is expected to apply for small and simple haptic feedback device. However, the poor responsiveness and large actuators are still left as issues. In the meantime, we discovered a phenomenon that the perceptual force from the hanger reflex is enhanced when the vibration is presented to the wrist. If we can control this simple and strong perceptual illusion, we can cope issues still left and realize the small and simple haptic device. Therefore, in order to apply this phenomenon to the haptic device, this paper reports details about this phenomenon and the effect of the frequencies and amplitudes of the vibration. As results of the experiments, we observed that the low frequency (50-100Hz) vibrations efficiently enhanced the perceptual force. Also, we observed that the participants perceived stronger perceptual force if the vibration of a greater amplitude was presented. These results suggest that the enhancement of the perceptual force is controllable and can apply to the haptic device.
Recently, force feedback devices have been developed that render force associated with virtual objects. Major devices are desktop and wearable types. Wearable types are less restricted in movable area than desktop types. However, typical devices with motors are difficult to achieve large range of movement, backdrivability, and safe. In this study, to improve these problems, we have developed a 1-DOF wearable force feedback device with MR brakes and a pneumatic artificial muscle. We check the basic performance and construct an augmented reality space allowing the operator to move. In the augmented reality space, the device is evaluated.