Bi-directional 'Force' Shape Display

Ken Nakagaki, Daniel Fitzgerald, Zhiyaho (John) Ma, Luke Vink, Daniel Levine, Clark Della Silva and Hiroshi Ishii


In this project, we explore a novel haptic interaction design space with 'force' controlled shape display. Utilizing high performance linear actuators with current reading functionality, we built a 10 x 5 'force' shape display, named inFORCE, that can both detect and exert variable force on individual pins. By integrating closed-loop force control, our system can provide real-time variable haptic feedback in response to the way users press the pins. Our haptic interaction design space includes volumetric haptic feedback, material emulation, layer snapping, and friction.

Our proposed interaction methods, for example, enables people to "press through'' computationally rendered dynamic shapes to understand the internal structure of 3D volumetric information. We also demonstrate a material property capturing functionality. Our technical evaluation and user study assesses the hardware capability and haptic perception through interaction with inFORCE. We also explore application spaces including bio-medical data and geo-science data representation.

While there are many hardware of pin-based shape display proposed in the past, inFORCE is the first pin-based shape display that enable variable `force' feedback with closed loop control.

*This project was conducted at Tangible Media Group, MIT Media Lab. project page

AxLab Members

Ken Nakagaki


inFORCE: Bi-directional 'Force' Shape Display for Haptic Interaction


AxLab - Actuated Experience Lab © 2022

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