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Publication Detail
Configuration of a novel sub-millimeter resolution piezoelectric actuator based wearable tactile display system for blind individuals
This paper presents the work conducted towards the realization of a novel tactile display system, first using block type piezoelectric actuators and later using cantilever type piezoelectric actuators. The system is particularly useful for blind users to communicate with computers through touch, but also has many potential applications in several other fields such as virtual reality, gaming, and other general communication interfaces for sighted users. Although piezoelectric actuators have been used in the past in electronic Braille and other systems, there is no reported configuration that can achieve submillimeter center-to-center resolution in an array of programmable actuation pins that act as interfaces in contact with a human body part such as a finger. This paper reports development of a wearable tactile display device: (a) built of block type actuators and its characterization showing that the perception was not adequate for certain purposes; (b) further, a novel arrangement with considerable improvement in perception wherein- (i) two or more vibrating stimulation pins can be located close to each other at the plane of contact with a finger, and (ii) actuated by means of piezoelectric bending elements arranged in a cantilever configuration partially overlapping each other in multiple planes. A significant feature of the unique configuration reported in this paper is that vibratory stimulation can be achieved at finer spatial resolutions than hitherto achieved. Copyright © 2011 by ASME.
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