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Haptics in Education: hapTEL project leading haptics research into learning, teaching and cognition

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Rebecca Ferguson
14 June 2011

Presentation by Jonathan San Diego at the CALRG Conference 2011


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The overall aim of the hapTE project is to design, develop and evaluate a virtual learning system which includes haptic and synthetic devices. The project brings together psychologists, cyberneticists, engineers, sociologists, educationalists, clinicians, undergraduates, postgraduates, tutors and clinicians.

Looking at the training of dentists. Dental students begin working with real patients in their second year of study!

Needed to develop a near-realistic image of a tooth - not just on the surface, but also the different layers within the tooth - the dentine, the enamel and the pulp. Each of these has different tactile aspects and gives different hapric feedback. Use shutter glases to give an illusion of 3D, so the simulation gives realistic visual and haptic feedback (including blood). Makes use of a modified form of a gaming device.

Students get feedback on the amount of caries removed, and the amount of enamel and dentine that remain. Tutor can play back the operation and look at what happened.

Comparison between training on a phantom head, removing artifical decayed material from plastic teeth, and training with hapTEL. With hapTel you can assess how much of each different layer is removed, the angle of entry, the view of the tooth, and many other elements.

Rebecca Ferguson
09:26 on 14 June 2011

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