Haptics Applications for Laser Vibrometers

Laser Doppler vibrometry has many applications in the field of haptics. For example, it is used in the design optimization of touchscreens for automobiles, or for studying ultrasonic vibrations that are generated to reproduce the sensation of surface texture. Perfecting vibrotactile feedback in robot-assisted surgery is critical in assuring reliable and realistic reproduction of touch in all axes during, for example, delicate microsurgery. Vibrometry helps determine optimal locations of haptic feedback actuators for efficient transfer of energy from the device to the user, and avoid modal coupling or unwanted acoustic distortions.

Various types of haptic actuators can be studied either separately or mounted for example inside watches, gloves, suits, flexible wearables and other VR accessories. A technique called reflecto-vibrometry can be used to study the sound fields generated by ultrasonic projectors of haptic sensations, which means that both the sound fields and transducers used to generate them can be studied with the same instrument.

Scanning and multipoint laser vibrometers offer the haptics developer the ability to characterize an entire field of haptic vibrations in a single direction or in 3D whether the vibrations are from individual transducers, or the device or surface to which the transducers are mounted or contacting, including human skin. Polytec also offers expert testing services in cases where an investment in capital equipment may be difficult to justify right away or where results are required on short notice.