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Virtual Reality Research with Chopsticks at
Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

Last Updated 1999-03-07


TITLE: Object Manipulation using Interaction among Hand, Tool and Objects in a Virtual Environment

AUTHOR: Tomohiko Higashi


Virtual reality (VR) techniques can be used to provide a sophisticated user interface. For example, a user can manipulate virtual objects intuitively by using simple hand gestures with a glove-type device. However, no more than a simplified interaction between hand and object is considered in the previous VR systems. Moreover, there has never tried to use complicated interactions by introducing a tool to manipulate virtual objects. This paper proposes a method to manipulate objects with chopsticks in a virtual environment. Here, the exact interactions in multiple stages are introduced, i.e., between hand and chopsticks, and chopsticks and object. For the interaction between hand and chopsticks, constraints coming from the correct table manner are implemented to operate chopsticks correctly. An exact real-time interference detection algorithm for polygonal objects is also used to prevent interference between hand and chopsticks.

On the other hand, two methods to pick up virtual objects are proposed for the interaction between chopsticks and object, i.e., an approximated test using a chopsticks-pointer and a bounding box of an object, and exact test using polygonal shape representations. An experimental result using accurately modeled human hand with 1,700 polygons and chopsticks (with 96 polygons for each) show that 16.9 frames/sec is achieved even if the exact interference test is used for both interaction stages.

The proposed method can easily apply to the generalized virtual tool so that we can produce a novel tool one after another. The method will contribute to the research on investigation of brain functions by analyzing an activity of a brain while a subject operates a novel tool. Moreover this analysis is expected to provide a useful knowledge with the theory of human-computer interface design.

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