Team : i3d
Following previous developments made on the Haptic Platform, a particular effort has been undertaken this year to improve and enlarge the underlying software that handles interactions based on the Spidar, particularly on the ``String Haptic Workbench'' . The first objective was to adapt the existing Haptic Platform to run on the PC cluster recently installed on the Workbench (see 5.2). The second one was to get even more modularity, so that new haptic devices or interaction modules can be easily plugged in/out, thus providing a set of modules to be used to create new applications, or to connect to existing ones (such as Amira ©Mercury Computer System, for instance).
Haptic Platform Enhancement
Various functionalities have been integrated into the initial Haptic Platform, such as 6 degrees of freedom Spidar, support for the newest Spidar hardware, haptic device position and speed filters providing smoother information for further computation, adaptive time step for the CONTACT collision detection engine increasing the overall stability, button events handling and configuration files.
PC Cluster Adaptation
Within the frame of the geoBench RNTL project, the initial Haptic Platform has been adapted to run on a PC cluster. The chosen cluster middleware solution for the geoBench project is FlowVR . The main functionalities, as well as new ones, have been translated into FlowVR modules.
Nowadays, 4 FlowVR modules are available, and new ones can easily be added:
SpidarAdaptator. For communication with the Spidar drivers, only available under Windows.
Contact. Embeds the CONTACT Toolkit library , providing collision detection within a loaded scene.
Virtual Coupling. Enables interaction through the coupling of the collision detection engine and the haptic device, possibly adding an externally computed force, such as a forces extracted from a data set.
CyberTouch: Handles the cyberTouch glove device, providing control upon the vibration feedback.
The currently developed modules compose the core of a module pool to create applications with haptic interactions. Both objectives of exploiting the PC cluster and increasing modularity were atteined. Further developments include the integration of the PhantomTM(PhanTom is an haptic device), the writing of a Spidar module when Linux drivers become available, connection to other (visual) applications, coupling with a scientific simulation engine.