The integration of polymeric actuators in haptic displays is widespread nowadays, especially in virtual reality and rehabilitation applications. However, we are still far from optimizing the transducer ability in conveying sensory information. Here, we present a vibrotactile actuator characterized by a piezoelectric disk embedded in a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) shell. An original encapsulation technique was performed to provide the stiff active element with a compliant cover as an interface towards the soft human skin. The interface stiffness, together with the new geometry, generated an effective transmission of vibrotactile stimulation and made the encapsulated transducer a performant component for the development of wearable tactile displays. The mechanical behavior of the developed transducer was numerically modeled as a function of the driving voltage and frequency, and the exerted normal forces were experimentally measured with a load cell. The actuator was then tested for the integration in a haptic glove in single-finger and bi-finger condition, in a 2-AFC tactile stimulus recognition test. Psychophysical results across all the tested sensory conditions confirmed that the developed integrated haptic system was effective in delivering vibrotactile information when the frequency applied to the skin is within the 200-700 Hz range and the stimulus variation is larger than 100 Hz.
|Titolo:||Encapsulation of piezoelectric transducers for sensory augmentation and substitution with wearable haptic devices|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo su Rivista/Article|