HIRO III lets you feel what you see on screen

July 2, 2010 | Source: PhysOrg.com

Researchers in Japan are developing a “haptic interface robot” — the HIRO III, a robot hand that can transmit realistic sensations of touch to a user’s fingertips.

The robot is an arm and hand with five fingers to which the user’s own fingers are strapped. The robotic fingers give the user tactile sensations simulating the textures of surfaces, size of virtual objects and a sense of weight. The system is integrated with a three-dimensional display that includes an image of the user’s hand. The hand on the screen appears to be in the same position as the user’s own hand, which could make the experience seem very realistic.

The device could be used in applications such as controlling robotic arms in factory work, and for simulating procedures for medical diagnosis training.