Machine Imitates Life
by Quanser Haptic Devices, Haptic devices use high bandwidth servo motors and encoder feedback to simulate real-life situations like surgery.
MICROMO Posted 06/09/2011
In an increasingly virtual world, the ability to simulate touch provides powerful advantages, for example allowing an online shopper to “feel” a shirt fabric. Enter the discipline of haptics, which involves using robotics with sophisticated feedback and controls to simulate a tactile experience for the user. Haptic device manufacturer Quanser Consulting Inc., for example, produces five- and six-axis robots that supply crisp, realistic sensations. To do so, they leverage proprietary hardware and software, along with high-torque, high-bandwidth servo motors and encoders from MICROMO.
Quanser started out serving the educational market, with products such as surgical simulators that permit medical students to experience making incisions without the use of a cadaver. “You can simulate the whole procedure and have them feel the same sensations they would if they were doing the real thing,” says Paul Karam, Quanser’s manager of dynamics & control. “You can also measure their performance how much force did they apply, how much cutting did they do?”