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The effect of haptic degrees of freedom on task performance in virtual surgical environments.

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Computer Science Department, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.


Force and touch feedback, or haptics, can play a significant role in the realism of virtual reality surgical simulation. While it is accepted that simulators providing haptic feedback often outperform those that do not, little is known about the degree of haptic fidelity required to achieve simulation objectives. This article evaluates the effect that employing haptic rendering with different degrees of freedom (DOF) has on task performance in a virtual environment. Results show that 6-DOF haptic rendering significantly improves task performance over 3-DOF haptic rendering, even if computed torques are not displayed to the user. No significant difference could be observed between under-actuated (force only) and fully-actuated 6-DOF feedback in two surgically-motivated tasks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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