Stiffness Controllable Interface for Virtual Stiffness Sensing

Imagine you are watching 3D movie but you have a new device that gives you virtual sense of touch too which you can use to touch the texture and environment. Imagine you use this device when you shop online to feel the texture of the cloth you are looking at. People can use it in museum to actually feel the objects and portraits without damaging them. Most importantly, this device can be used by a surgeon in teleoperation surgery.

Recent developments in vibration based virtual texture sensing, and mechanism-based virtual haptic feedback devices shows the importance of this research; however, virtual stiffness displays are on their early stages. Electroactive and thermo-active materials have been used to develop such interfaces. Here we try to investigate the use of an electroactive shape morphing material for this purpose.

The project involves development and test of the performance of the idea. Keen interest in CAD design, lab work, punctuality and time management are required. The project involves learning Soliworks for CAD design, using 3D printer, learning PWM control methods, learning Arduino and learning how to use a force sensor and linear actuator. You will collaborate with a PhD student throughout the project which will help you write a conference paper based on your final results.