tutorial 1
T1  Haptic Simulation, Perception and Manipulation of Deformable Objects

Date: Monday, September 3rd, Time: 09:00 - 12:30, Location: Lecture Room 209

Organizers:  Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann (MIRALab, University of Geneva)
Ugo Bonanni (MIRALab, University of Geneva)
Speakers:  Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann (MIRALab, University of Geneva)
Ian Summers (Biomedical Physics Research Group, University of Exeter)
Massimo Bergamasco (PERCRO, Scuola Superiore Sant´Anna)


This tutorial addresses haptic simulation, perception and manipulation of complex deformable objects in virtual environments. We will present state-of-the-art techniques concerning haptic simulation and rendering, ranging from physically based modeling to control issues of haptic/tactile devices. The objective of this tutorial is to train students and researchers in the various domains involving the haptic simulation of complex deformable objects, giving an overview of both methodologies and concrete research results.


Extended Summary

Haptics is the discipline dealing with the virtual reproduction of the sense of touch. Through haptic interfaces we are able to physically manipulate simulated virtual objects, thus experiencing a completely novel interaction paradigm. Major research challenges to be tackled in this field include the full understanding of the human perceptual system and how to exploit its full potential for improving haptic feedback; the development of compelling haptic-rendering methods that can provide realistic feedback of complex rigid and deformable objects; the realization of novel haptic interfaces combining both tactile stimulation and kinesthetic force-feedback. The proposed tutorial addresses these topics, presenting the state of the art in the field of haptic simulation and providing a detailed overview of a number of key issues that arise when simulating the haptic interaction with complex objects. In particular, the following domains will be covered:
  • Haptic Sensing of Virtual Textiles
  • Physically based Modeling
  • Design and Development Haptic Simulation Environments
  • Tactile Perception of Synthetic Surfaces
  • Haptic Interaction using Force-Feedback Devices
A particular focus will be put on conrete application examples.

Speakers' Background

Prof. Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann has pioneered research into virtual humans over the last 25 years. She obtained her PhD in Quantum Physics from the University of Geneva. From 1977 to 1989, she was a Professor at the University of Montreal where she founded the research lab MIRALab. She was elected Woman of the Year in the Grand Montreal for her pionnering work on virtual humans and presented Virtual Marilyn at the Modern Art Museum of New York in 1988. Since 1989, she is Professor at the University of Geneva where she recreated the interdisciplinary MIRALab laboratory. With her 30 PhD students, she has authored and coauthored more than 300 research papers and books in the field of modeling virtual humans, interacting with them and living in augmented worlds. She is presently taking part in more than a dozen of European and National Swiss research projects and she is the Coordinator of several European Research Projects as the Network of Excellence (NoE) INTERMEDIA, the Project HAPTEX and the European Research training Network Marie Curie 3D ANATOMICAL HUMANS. She is editor-in-chief of the Visual Computer Journal published by Springer Verlag and co-editor-in-chief of the journal Computer Animation and Virtual Worlds published by Wiley. She also participated to political events as to the WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM in DAVOS where she was invited to give several talks and seminars. More recently she has organized several workshops in the field of haptics, among others a seminar on "Virtual Touch" within the Swiss PhD students program "3eme Cycle Romand D'Informatique" in Geneva, and a yearly HAPTEX Workshop (HAPTEX'05 in Hanover, HAPTEX'06 in Helsinki).

Ian Summers is a member of the Biomedical Physics Research Group in Exeter and Director of the Peninsula MR Research Centre. Tactile perception has been one of his research interests for over 25 years, deriving from work in the 1970s and 1980s on a touch-based hearing aid for the profoundly deaf. More recent work has concentrated on other aspects of communication via the sense of touch, with applications in computer interfaces and virtual environments. A variety of fingertip stimulator arrays for virtual touch has been developed in Exeter. These make use of multiple moving contactors, each under individual computer control. Virtual touch sensations can be specified in terms a spatiotemporal variation of vibratory stimulation.

Massimo Bergamasco is Professor of Mechanics of Robots and Virtual Environment at Scuola Superiore S.Anna. Bergamasco is currently the Coordinator of the PERCRO laboratory. Massimo Bergamasco has been the Scientific coordinator of several National projects and of 9 EU projects, among which former coordinator of the European project Pure Form ( Bergamasco's research deals with the study and development of haptic interfaces for the control of the interaction between humans, Interaction Design and Virtual Environments. The scientific activity of Massimo Bergamasco includes more than two hundreds scientific papers published on journals and/or international conferences proceedings. He has been the former program co-chair of the World Haptics Conference 2005. Massimo Bergamasco is presently the Coordinator of the ENACTIVE network of excellence ( ENACTIVE is a European Network that aims to integrate and develop an common knowledge among scientists in Virtual Reality and Haptic Interfaces and cognitive experts in perception-action.

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Last update : 12.05.2011

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