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Multimodal Virtual Environments: MAGIC Toolkit and Visual-Haptic Interaction Paradigms

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Touch lab rept. 8

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The MAGIC Toolkit is an application program and library file that allows users to see, manually feel, create, edit, and manipulate objects in the virtual environment. Using the PHANToM haptic interface, a user can build a complex virtual object or scene by adding object primitives to the virtual workspace. Object primitives are pre-programmed objects, such as a cylinder and a sphere, that have visual and haptic characteristics which can be modified with a touch to the virtual menu wall. Using the MACIC Toolkit is a simple way to create multimodal virtual environments without directly writing the program code or creating the environment in another application and then translating the file. The library file has many useful routines for manipulating the virtual scene for the creation of a spe- cific end application. The NIAGIC Toolkit with extensions is useful for many applications including creation of environments for training, prototyping structures or products, devel- oping standardized motor coordination tests to monitor patient recovery, or entertainment. This DOS-based application runs on a single Pentium 90 MHz processor that computes the haptic updates at 1500 Hz and the graphic updates at 30 Hz. Since the field of vir- tual environments is still fairly new, there are some fundamental questions about how best to interact with the environment. In this thesis, experiments on visual-haptic size ratios, visual scaling, and cursor control paradigms have been conducted to investigate user pref- erence and performance. These experiments also investigate the role of vision and haptics in navigating through a maze. Visual-haptic size ratios refer to the relative size of the visual display to the haptic workspace. Visual scaling refers to the effects of increasing and decreasing the size of the visual display relative to the haptic workspace. Cursor control paradigms fall into two categories position control and force control. Results of the exper- iments find

Subject Categories:

  • Computer Programming and Software
  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems

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