Sony Patent | Haptic Presentation Apparatus, Recognition Apparatus, Control Apparatus, and Haptic Presentation Method

Patent: Haptic Presentation Apparatus, Recognition Apparatus, Control Apparatus, and Haptic Presentation Method

Publication Number: 20190005781

Publication Date: 2019-01-03

Applicants: Sony

Abstract

A haptic presentation apparatus includes an actuator mechanism, a transmission mechanism, a detection unit, and a recognition unit. The transmission mechanism is configured to transmit haptic information to a user using a driving force caused by the actuator mechanism. The detection unit is configured to detect a load amount applied to the actuator mechanism. The recognition unit is configured to recognize a contact state of the user with respect to the transmission mechanism on the basis of the load amount detected by the detection unit.

Background

Patent Literature 1 discloses a device that provides a realistic feeling of an object by transmitting a reaction force from a virtual object to a user in games or virtual reality experiences. For example, this device uses a pressure sensor and a myoelectric sensor to detect a strength with which the user grips the device and how fingers are tightened. This device improves reproducibility of a tactile haptic sense by using correction data indicating individual differences, that is generated from a comparison between an illusionary tactile haptic sense induction function and characteristics of the illusionary tactile haptic sense of each user (see, for example, paragraphs [0043] and [0071] in specification of Patent Literature 1).

Patent Literature 2 discloses a technology of a cellular phone to which a game function that allows a user to swing a cellular phone like a maracas in accordance with a rhythm of a musical piece reproduced by the cellular phone, is added. In this technology, when the user causes the cellular phone to vibrate in a state where power of a vibration motor of the cellular phone is turned off, a counter electromotive force is generated in the vibration motor. A CPU of the cellular phone detects the vibration given by the user by detecting that counter electromotive force (see, for example, paragraphs [0015] and [0019] in specification of Patent Literature 2).

Summary

0006] In the haptic presentation apparatus, for example, in order to surely transmit haptic information to the user, there are situations where it is necessary to accurately detect a contact state of the user with respect to the apparatus.

An object of the present disclosure is to provide a technology of a haptic presentation apparatus and the like with which a contact state of a user with respect to the apparatus can be detected accurately.

To attain the object described above, a haptic presentation apparatus according to an embodiment of the present technology includes an actuator mechanism, a transmission mechanism, a detection unit, and a recognition unit.

The transmission mechanism is configured to transmit haptic information to a user using a driving force caused by the actuator mechanism.

The detection unit is configured to detect a load amount applied to the actuator mechanism.

The recognition unit is configured to recognize a contact state of the user with respect to the transmission mechanism on a basis of the load amount detected by the detection unit.

In this haptic presentation apparatus according to the present technology, since the contact state of the user with respect to the transmission mechanism is recognized on the basis of the load amount of the actuator mechanism that generates a driving force for presenting a force to the user, the contact state can be recognized accurately.

The haptic presentation apparatus may further include a control unit configured to control drive of the actuator mechanism on a basis of the contact state recognized by the recognition unit.

Accordingly, the haptic presentation apparatus can present different haptic information to the user in accordance with the contact state of the user.

The actuator mechanism may include a plurality of actuators, and the control unit may be configured to selectively switch drive of the plurality of actuators in accordance with the contact state. Alternatively, the transmission mechanism may include a plurality of transmission units that function as movable portions respectively configuring a part of the plurality of actuators.

With these technologies, it is possible to present a plurality of pieces of different haptic information, that is, various types of haptic information, to the user.

At least one of the plurality of actuators may output a vibration having a frequency of 50 Hz or more and 400 Hz or less.

In this way, by setting the vibration frequency within a range where a human perception sensitivity to vibrations is high, it becomes possible to present highly-efficient haptic information and also enhance an effect of selectively using a plurality of actuators.

The actuator mechanism may include one actuator, and the control unit may be configured to generate different driving states of the actuator in accordance with the contact state. Alternatively, the transmission mechanism may include a plurality of transmission units that are configured to respectively transmit haptic information corresponding to the different driving states.

With these technologies, it becomes possible to present various types of haptic information to the user on the basis of a plurality of different driving states.

The control unit may be configured to control the drive of the actuator mechanism while as least one of the different driving states is a vibration having a frequency of 50 Hz or more and 400 Hz or less.

The recognition unit may be configured to measure, as the load amount, a counter electromotive voltage, driving current, rotation speed, or temperature of the actuator mechanism.

Accordingly, the contact state can be recognized accurately.

The haptic presentation apparatus may further include a casing that accommodates the actuator mechanism, and the transmission mechanism may form at least a part of the casing.

The actuator mechanism may include at least one of an eccentric motor, a linear resonant actuator, a piezoelectric actuator, and a magnetostrictive actuator.

A recognition apparatus according to the present technology is a recognition apparatus for a haptic presentation apparatus including an actuator mechanism. The recognition apparatus includes a recognition unit configured to detect a load amount applied to the actuator mechanism and recognize, on a basis of the load amount, a contact state of a user with respect to a transmission mechanism configured to transmit haptic information to the user using a driving force caused by the actuator mechanism.

A haptic presentation method executed by the haptic presentation apparatus, according to an embodiment of the present technology, includes transmitting, by the transmission mechanism, haptic information to a user using a driving force caused by the actuator mechanism.

By the detection unit, a load amount applied to the actuator mechanism is detected.

By the recognition unit, a contact state of the user with respect to the transmission mechanism is recognized on a basis of the load amount detected by the detection unit.

A haptic presentation apparatus according to another embodiment of the present technology includes a plurality of actuators and a control unit.

The plurality of actuators are configured to respectively generate driving forces corresponding to different driving states.

The control unit is configured to recognize a contact state of a user with respect to the haptic presentation apparatus and selectively switch drive of the plurality of actuators in accordance with the recognized contact state.

By the control unit selectively switching the actuator to be driven in accordance with the contact state of the user with respect to the haptic presentation apparatus, various types of haptic information based on a plurality of different driving states can be presented to the user. A control apparatus according to the present technology includes a control unit configured to recognize a contact state of a user with respect to a haptic presentation apparatus and selectively switch drive of a plurality of actuators that respectively generate driving forces corresponding to different driving states in accordance with the recognized contact state.

A haptic presentation method for a haptic presentation apparatus according to another embodiment of the present technology includes recognizing, by a control unit of the haptic presentation apparatus including a plurality of actuators that respectively generate driving forces corresponding to different driving states, a contact state of a user with respect to the haptic presentation apparatus.

By the control unit, drive of the plurality of actuators is selectively switched in accordance with the recognized contact state.

Advantageous Effects of Invention

As described above, according to the present technology, a contact state of a user with respect to an apparatus can be detected accurately.

It should be noted that the effects described herein are not necessarily limited, and any effect described in the present disclosure may be obtained.

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