DECAFF is a method for design and control of haptic interfaces that utilizes a DE-Coupled Actuator and Feed-Forward control. In this paper results of an experimental investigation are presented that quantify improved human haptic perception while using the DECAFF system, compared to the traditional haptic interface design and control systems. Perception improvements include the increased stability for rigid surfaces and increased ability of subjects to accurately identify initial contact with virtual surface boundaries. Traditional haptic interfaces employ an actuator directly coupled to the human operator that provides a force proportional to wall penetration distance and velocity. The DECAFF paradigm for design and control of haptic displays utilizes a de-coupled actuator and pre-contact distance sensing as a feed forward control term to improve stability and response performance. A human perception experiment has been performed that compares the touch sensation of the subjects for both the DECAFF system and traditional approaches to haptic display. In the human factors study the quality of rigid body display is evaluated in addition to the sensitivity of touch experienced by the subjects while making initial contact with virtual surfaces.

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