Date of Award

Winter 2007

Project Type


Program or Major

Computer Science

Degree Name

Master of Science


A novel 3D computer interface is proposed in which a physical handle containing force sensors and capable of simulating virtual touch through force feedback is coupled to a variety of virtual tools in a 3D virtual environment. The visual appearance of each tool reflects its capabilities. At one moment a user might feel they are holding a virtual grabber, activated by squeezing, and at another moment they are holding a virtual turntable activated by physical motion of a virtual wheel. In this way it is intended that form and function can be combined so that users rapidly learn the functional capabilities of the tools and retain this learning. It is also intended that the tools be easy to use because of intuitive mappings of forces to actions. A virtual environment is constructed to test this concept, and an evaluation of the interface conducted.