The Haptic Revolver, also known as the Haptic Wheel, uses an actuated wheel that moves up and down to render touch contact with a virtual surface and spins to render shear forces and motion as the user slides along a vir¬tual surface. The controller is designed so that the index finger rests in a groove along the wheel’s axis. When a user touches a virtual surface, the wheel rises to contact the fingertip, its rotation simulating the friction of the fingertip with the virtual surface based on the speed of the hand motion along the surface. The lucky users who got to test the Haptic Revolver reported a convincing haptic sensation corresponding to visual hand motion. Even when they moved their hand freely around a virtual surface while the rendered wheel motion was limited to horizontal direction, users reported the haptic feedback to be quite realistic.
The Haptic Revolver was developed by the researchers, working closely with Eric Whitmire, an intern from the University of Washington.