The initial objective of the 'Integrated tactile surface actuator design' (INTERACT) project was to design a novel haptic interface with the help of programmable topologies and shapes. Based on this, users should feel virtual objects rising out from interaction surfaces that are optionally providing force feedback. Haptics would be enabled by actuators that apply forces to the skin for touch feedback consisting of a dielectric elastomer. Nevertheless, at the time INTERACT received EU funding, focus shifted from haptic interfaces to adaptive optics. Scientists were relocated to the Philips Research Optics Group. By combining a user-centred design approach, finite element modelling and expertise on dielectric elastomer actuators, INTERACT led to complete new applications in the adaptive optics field. The project resulted in many publications, demonstrations and patent applications.
Optical system, smart material, dielectric elastomer, adaptive optics, tactile surface actuator, actuator design, haptic interface, haptics, touch feedback, dielectric elastomer actuator