טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentChechik Jonathan Salah
SubjectMTFA: Magneto Tactile Feedback Apparatus
DepartmentDepartment of Electrical Engineering
Supervisors Professor Alon Wolf
Professor Lihi Zelnik-Manor


Abstract

Tactile feedback (also known as cutaneous feedback) is a field in human-computer interaction (HCI) in which touch sensation and perception is studied. This field is mostly uncharted territory with only few works, mostly trying to tackle separate concepts of the tactile perception. This tactile perception is caused by a combination of four types of mechanoreceptors lying in different depths relative to the skin

surface.

Combination of these four types of mechanoreceptors, together with warm/cold sensation caused by a different kind of sensor neuron, results in all known dimensionalities of perception: hardness, friction, warmness, macro roughness and fine roughness.

This research proposes a new kind of technique based on electromagnetic fields (denoted from now as magnetotactile). In order to avoid bulky and unscalable mechanical parts, the entire mechanism will be controlled via small portable computer sending electrical signals- activating a matrix of small solenoids.

The apparatus will induce a spatial and temporal specific magnetic field via each solenoid that will push the solenoid’s shaft which in turn pushes a small needle sized rod, creating local pressure or vibrations over time to stimulate the mechanoreceptors in the area. The small solenoids, acting as electromagnets with changeable force due to a change in the current induced, are arranged in a matrix format, and able to programmatically create different magnetic fields in different times to mimic the wanted texture sensation. The proposed device can provide a more complete sensation of texture, which haven't been achieved until now, and by that we help in pushing forward technologies such as AR and VR gaming, robotic surgery, rehabilitation treatments and more.