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A tactile display is programmable device whose controlled surface is intended to be investigated by human touch. It has a great number of potential applications in the field of virtual reality and elsewhere. In this research, a 5 × 5 tactile display array including electrorheological (ER) fluid has been developed and investigated. Force responses of the tactile display array have been measured while a probe was moved across the upper surface. The purpose of this was to simulate the action of touch performed by human finger. Experimental results show that the sensed surface information could be controlled effectively by adjusting the voltage activation pattern imposed on the tactels. The performance of the tactile display is durable and repeatable. The touch sensitivity of this ER fluid based tactile display array has also been investigated in this research. The results show that it is possible to sense the touching force normal to the display's surface by monitoring the change of current passing through the ER fluid. These encouraging results are helpful for constructing a new type of tactile display based on ER fluid which can act as both sensor and actuator at the same time. © 2005 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Author(s): Liu Y, Davidson R, Taylor P
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Smart Materials and Structures
ISSN (print): 0964-1726
ISSN (electronic): 1361-665X
Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing Ltd.
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