Teaching the subtleties of a good golf swing
or a precise surgical method electronically is just not the same as showing
someone in person. But it's getting closer.
Researchers from the University of Buffalo have developed a method
that enables one person to go through the exact movements of another, including
feeling the same forces, over the Internet. The method could eventually
be used to capture the touch of a musician, golfer or surgeon and pass it
on to someone trying to match that touch, according to the researchers.
The system involves a glove that captures force and transmits it
through the Internet to the receiver, who uses a combination of a sensing
tool to feel the forces, and the act of following a point on a computer
screen to recreate the movement of the other person's hand. The method differs
from haptic techniques that allow users to feel the movement of another
person's hand from the outside, or allow one user's hand to be pulled in
the same direction as the other user's.
A practical system could be available within three years, according
to the researchers. The researchers are scheduled to present the work at
the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International Mechanical
Engineering Congress in Washington in November, 2003.
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