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Haptic Rendering in Interactive Applications Developed with Commodity Physics Engine

Author(s): Kup-Sze Choi | Leon Sze-Ho Chan | Jing Qin | Wai-Man Pang

Journal: Journal of Multimedia
ISSN 1796-2048

Volume: 6;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 147;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: middleware | physics engine | force feedback | haptic rendering | collision response | virtual reality

Availability of commodity physics engines such as PhysX’s nVidia has significantly reduced the effort required for developing interactive applications concerning the simulation of the physical world. However, it becomes a problem when force feedback is needed since the addition of haptic rendering into these applications is non-trivial. The issues include the high haptic update rate and the inaccessibility of force data in the physics engine. In the paper, we tackle the first issue by mediating the update-rate disparity between haptic rendering and other processes by data buffering, and the second issue by calculating the force feedback indirectly using the engine’s collision geometry data. The major benefit of these techniques is that they enable a homogeneous development environment where the same engine can be used for both the physics and haptic simulation. Furthermore, integration of force feedback into physics-engine based applications would not introduce significant changes into developer’s codebase. The proposed techniques have potential to streamline the development of demanding applications such as virtual surgical simulation and immersive computer gaming.
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