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22 July 2003 Composite thermal micro-actuator array for tactile displays
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Tactile perception of complex symbols through tactile stimulation is an exciting application of a phenomenon known as tactile illusion (TI). Sensation of motion on the skin can be produced by a limited number of discrete mechanical actuators applying light pressure over the skin. This phenomenon can thus be used as a neurophysiological testing tool to determine central and peripheral nervous system injury as well as providing an additional human-machine communication channel. This paper describes the development of a 4 x 5 actuator array of individual vibrating pixels for fingertip tactile communication. The array is approximately one square centimeter and utilizes novel micro-clutch MEMS technology. The individual pixels are turned ON and OFF by pairs of microscopic composite thermal actuators, while the main vibration is generated by a vibrating piezo-electric plate. The physiological parameters required for inducing tactile illusion are described. The fabrication sequence for the thermal micro-actuators along with actuation results are also presented.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Eniko T. Enikov and Kalin V. Lazarov "Composite thermal micro-actuator array for tactile displays", Proc. SPIE 5055, Smart Structures and Materials 2003: Smart Electronics, MEMS, BioMEMS, and Nanotechnology, (22 July 2003);


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