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ME - Dissertation Defense: Chris Ploch
Augmenting Human Driving Capability through a Skin Stretch Haptic Display Embedded in a Steering Wheel
Cars are growing smarter as they incorporate improvements in sensing, computing and communication. They increasingly are able to monitor the environment, detect impending events and make decisions, sometimes with higher speed and accuracy than is possible for the human driver. This new information can augment the capability of the driver, but it is still an open question how best to present it. This talk focuses on skin stretch haptic feedback, which has potential to achieve this in a way that is intuitive and not distracting.
A steering wheel with an embedded skin stretch display was designed that is compact, lightweight, and allows holding at any position. Rotational motion of the front surface of the rim produces lateral deformation of the skin of the hands, stimulating slowly- and rapidly-adapting mechanoreceptors. The resulting haptic stimuli communicate magnitude, direction, and speed information. The design and control of the device, exploration of navigation and obstacle avoidance applications, and evaluation of the system through user studies will be presented in this talk.