Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Greg R. Luecke


This dissertation addresses the analysis and design of a robotic and haptic system that applies arbitrary forces to the digits of the human finger for virtual force display applications. This system is based on the application of electromagnetic principles to couple the human hand with a robotic manipulator. Using this approach, forces are transmitted between the robot exoskeleton and the human without using mechanical attachments to the robot. A PUMA 560 manipulator is used to track the exoskeleton interface. The combined system allows for a large working volume, so that a more realistic virtual reality environment is implemented. The human environment working with a mechanical manipulator is modeled and the coupled stability is analyzed in terms of the driving point admittance.;The stability and performance limit of several different haptic interface types are compared. The human-machine interaction using electromagnetic field represents better performance from the stability point of view. The impedance of the human hand is estimated, and several possible haptic interactions are realized, and its basic elements are discussed. Typical synthetic environments with a NURBS based free-form deformation are programmed and tested using the ISU force reflecting exoskeleton system. The experimental results show that the electromagnetic interface gives adequate force levels for perception of virtual objects, enhancing the feeling of immersion in the synthetic environment.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Young-Ho Chai



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

109 pages