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Wearable device for thermo-tactile perceptions

Medical trainingOperations and rescueTraining hostile environmentsVirtual environments teleoperation

Introduction

Wearable haptic device, which allows to simulate and modulate the contact with virtual objects on different congruent sensorial channels, increasing the perceptive effectiveness of the simulation and the immersion of the user in the virtual or teleoperated environment.

Technical features

Wearable haptic device, in the form of a robotic thimble, which allows integrated simulation and perception of contact and temperature in virtual reality contexts, augmented reality in remote operating conditions, for example in surgery and in industrial maintenance tasks. The device is able to move a small plate around the last phalanx of the finger of the user’s hand, and to regulate the direction and contact force in real time. This mechanism is integrated with a miniaturized thermal module, divided into two coplanar sectors, each equipped with an independent temperature regulation system. This thermal module produces temperature variation thanks to a pair of Peltier cells, through contact with surfaces that can heat or cool in response to a certain difference in electrical potential.

Possible Applications

  • Personalized and intensive treatment (rehabilitation);
  • Virtual environments in general;
  • Remote operation;
  • Training of doctors or operators in hostile or emergency environments;
  • Teleoperation;
  • Operations and rescue in hostile environments.

Advantages

  • Joint perception of two different sensory stimuli;
  • Miniaturization;
  • Integration with other devices;
  • Modularity;
  • Home use;
  • Already validated and scientifically proven (Sgandurra et al., PlosONE 2017);
  • Conforms to the minimum safety requirements for class II A medical device.