Sympathetic Haptics: Learning Through Computer Mediated Skill Transfer
T. Kesavadas Principal Investigator
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ABSTRACT<br/><br/>In the proposed work, the PIs will investigate methods to construct a new paradigm for training manual skills using computer-mediated collaboration termed "Sympathetic Haptics." Sympathetic Haptics is a term that PIs have proposed to define technologies that allow a student to "sympathetically" feel (in the sense of touch or movement) what another person is feeling when he or she does an activity (for instance, how it feels to play a piano chord, or use a surgical tool). These methods can be used to teach novices how to perform such tasks in the way that an expert does them. Applications and aspects of these advanced learning technologies for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) will be systematically investigated in a variety of domains using test-beds developed as part of this effort. One motivation behind the proposed work is the availability of haptics simulation technologies ranging in scale from simple force feedback joysticks to advanced 6 degrees of freedom (DOF) special purpose haptics devices, along with the software and hardware means for connectivity among these devices. These technologies will allow people to capture, store and communicate various force sensations from individual to individual, and may one day allow people to reach out and touch people, and share physical skills just as one would share videos and audio text messages today.<br/><br/>The proposed work will address four objectives: First, it will develop a framework for capturing attributes of force and motion applied by a teacher during skilled manual tasks. Second, it will develop a methodology to transmit and/or synthetically simulate the patterns of force and motion. Third, and most significantly, the concept of Sympathetic Haptics itself will allow a student to actively track with special assistance, motions made by a skilled teacher, and hence experience the forces and haptics effects involved in executing the skilled task. Fourth, this system will not only allow the student to experience what the teacher recorded, but also allow the student to repeat the process over and over again as a learning tool.