Human vibrotactile detection experiments were used to compare temporal sinusoids displayed on three commercial haptic devices to a high-fidelity linear voice-coil actuator. The three commercial haptic devices we used span the cost spectrum, supposing that cost of a device is correlated with the fidelity of its virtual textures. This turned out not to be the case. The results indicated that none of the three haptic devices we tested were able to render perceptually distortion-free, periodically regular vibrations at detection threshold levels. Further investigation into the electrical and mechanical device properties that limited the performance of these devices revealed that D/A resolution, amplifier non-linearity and stiction were the primary sources of signal corruption.
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