The next big thing, AR/VR, requires an immersive Human Machine Interface (HMI) in addition to visual and sound stimuli. Although skin is the biggest organ in the human body, very few efforts compared to visual and auditory senses have been done to develop a “sense of touch”. The mechanical stimulus to generate the touch sense by the embedded mechanoreceptors in the skin at different depths has been created in many ways as vibratory actuators, microneedles, etc. In this project, we are investigating to create haptic interface via radiation force generated by piezoelectric micromachined ultrasonic transducers (pMUTs) array. Ultrasound-induced sense of touch has the advantage of: (1) it is free from contact to skin, i.e., skin breath is not prevented and the skin surface properties do not affect the performance, (2) a single transducer array is used to generate different temporal actuations on the skin by amplitude modulation, (3) spatial resolution of the haptic feedback is better since it is determined by the frequency of the ultrasound, i.e., focal point dimensions. To achieve this, we are investigating the high-performance designs as bimorph dual-electrode and piezoelectric materials as PLZT and KNN.
Project currently funded by: Federal