Haptics holds the key

Haptics is the science of sensing and maneuvering objects by touching. The field has made good progress and things are looking up. It is a fusion of virtual reality and communication mechanism by which you can feel remote objects in a 3D environment just by looking at your computer screen.

If haptics advances at this rate there is a possibility of performing remote surgeries on humans. A doctor can get the feel of the patients body and organs from a remote place and manipulate the movements of a robot to perform the surgery. A lot of work has to be done on this to ensure precision and prevent mishaps. Scientists believe remote surgery will be possible in the future. Haptics has already taken hold in several fields like teleoperators, gaming and several day to day applications. The user can get a feedback about the weight,dimensions and the hardness of the virtual objects. Research is going on to incorporate Peltier effect devices whose temperature can be controlled by applied voltage to get a feel of the temperature of the object. Also the texture of the objects can be felt from variations in friction. Haptic interfaces with sensors can help persons with impaired hands to get a feel of objects. The real challenge will be to get the technology ready to perform remote surgeries in order to save valuable human lives.