Control of Thermal Conductance with Detection of Single Contacting Part for Rendering Thermal Sensation

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Abstract

The rendering of tactile sensations has recently been attracting attention in the fields of multimedia and communication. This study focuses on thermal sensation, which is one of the important elements for rendering a tactile sensation. Humans feel an object by hand movements such as tracing, grasping, and stroking. In response to such movements, it is necessary to take into account the change in the contacting point on the system. However, most conventional studies on thermal rendering did not take such situations into account in their system design. This study aims to fill this gap by proposing a control method for reproducing thermal conductance with the detection of a single contacting part. In this study, a copper plate attached to a Peltier device is regarded as a thermal system, and the system is modeled with three parts. Heat disturbance observers and heat inflow observers are then allocated to each part, and the thermal conductance at any single part is virtually reproduced. Moreover, a detection method of single contacting part is introduced in the proposed system. Combining the detection method with the controller enables different thermal sensations to be rendered depending on the contacting part.

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