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Force Feedback Gloves and Wearable Devices

Differently from the point-base force feedback device, where the user usually interacts by means of a tool as a stylus or a handle, there are some kinds of tactile interfaces that are worn by the user and apply the force feedback directly on the articulation joints. The wearable force feedback gloves have a long history, preceded by unpowered data gloves, which are only used for tracking hand gestures.

  • CyberGrasp - This device [21] developed by CyberGlove Systems LLC is a powered glove, where the fingers are driven by push-pull cables in a sheath. It can be worn on the lower arm, although a lot of flexible cables to ground restrict the movements of the user. It can also be combined with the Cyberforce haptic arm [22]. Neither strong nor precise forces can be rendered, and the impression of touching a virtual object is never reached.
  • The Rutgers Master II - This device [23] is a glove developed in several versions and is designed for interactions with virtual environments. The glove provides force feedback up to 16 N each to the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingertips. It uses custom pneumatic actuators arranged in a direct-drive configuration in the palm.
  • Wisconsin Haptic Gripper - Springer et al. [24] built a multiple-finger exoskeleton with a separate arm at the upper side of each finger. The master controller device is worn on the user hand and is in charge of measuring fingers positions. These are used to control the finger positions of a remote grasping manipulator or slave device. The slave can be a physical robotic manipulator, or a representation of a human hand in a Virtual Reality environment. The user is able to perceive the forces measured by the robotic or virtual slave by means of the interaction with the master device.
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