Departmental Papers (CIS)

Date of this Version

March 2003

Document Type

Conference Paper


Copyright © 2003 IEEE. Reprinted from Proceedings of the 2003 IEEE Virtual Reality Conference (VR'03), held 22-26 March 2003, pages 225-231. Publisher URL:

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The usefulness of modern day haptics equipment for virtual simulations of actual maintenance actions is examined. In an effort to categorize which areas haptic simulations may be useful, we have developed a taxonomy for haptic actions. This classification has two major dimensions: the general type of action performed and the type of force or torque required. Building upon this taxonomy, we selected three representative tasks from the taxonomy to evaluate in a virtual reality simulation. We conducted a series of human subject experiments to compare user performance and preference on a disassembly task with and without haptic feedback using CyberGlove, Phantom, and SpaceMouse interfaces. Analysis of the simulation runs shows Phantom users learned to accomplish the simulated actions significantly more quickly than did users of the CyberGlove or the SpaceMouse. Moreover a lack of differences in the post-experiment questionnaire suggests that haptics research should include a measure of actual performance speed or accuracy rather than relying solely on subjective reports of a device’s ease of use.


assembling, digital simulation, haptic interfaces, virtual reality, CyberGlove, Phantom, SpaceMouse interfaces, disassembly tasks, haptic actions, haptic feedback, haptic simulations, haptics research, human subject experiments, simulated actions, simulation runs, user performance, virtual reality simulation



Date Posted: 18 August 2004

This document has been peer reviewed.