Generic and Systematic Evaluation of Haptic Interfaces Based on Testbeds
The purpose of evaluation procedures is to achieve both qualitative and quantitative statements on haptic rendering realism and performance. Since a haptic interface provides an interaction between a user and a virtual environment, fidelity of a haptic interface directly affects the performance. To our knowledge, a standard, generic and reusable validation method which comprehensively addresses all the attributes of haptic feedback has not been realized yet. Despite the large number of human factor studies, only few of them have been proposed as well for haptic interface performance measurements. For this reason, we review validation procedures for haptic rendering and propose an evaluation method based on testbeds to obtain a systematic haptic interface assessment. We integrated the approaches of human factor studies into the testbeds to obtain a simple and yet complete measure of human-machine interaction performance. The testbeds were tested on a haptic interface, the IHP of Xitact SA, and performance results are presented. In the testbeds, performance metrics for generic haptic interaction tasks are expressed in terms of information transfer (bits) and sensory thresholds which are indeed device specific benchmark metrics. Thus, the suitability of a haptic interface for a defined task can be verified, device comparisons become possible and the obtained information can be used to identify possible improvements.