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Need help finding an Actuator with impulsive force

  1. Sep 7, 2009 #1

    I am working on a tennis gaming project. The goal is to add haptic feedback to the racket. Currently, we have added simple relay motors to create vibration feedback to the racket but that is not enough.

    I am looking for an actuator that can provide impulsive force feedback (to simulate tennis ball hitting the racket)? It will be great if the actuator is available in planar form and the forces of motion are perpendicular to the plane.

    Does anyone know of any leading actuator companies whom I can call to find out?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2009 #2


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    Welcome to PF, Gameysf.
    I can't be of any help to you, but others here can. It seems to me that you have a very intricate problem. Haptic feedback of something solid is one thing, and hard enough to simulate. With a tennis raquette, though, you have elastic deformations in several different directions regarding the strings, never mind the spin induced upon the ball with even a minor alteration of angle upon impact. I seriously wish you the best with your project, but I don't know that what you want is attainable.
  4. Sep 7, 2009 #3
    Thanks. Yup... finding the actuator is a tricky issue.
    I can't expect it to be exactly the same as the real scenario but if close enough with a reasonable impulsive feel, it should be gd enough.

    Still in the search. hopefully, i'll find one soon...

  5. Sep 7, 2009 #4


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    Are you planning to use something similar to a real raquette as your input/feedback source? That's the impression that I got from your original post.
    If so, then I suppose that you have either 3-axis gyroscopes or accelerometers to track the movement of the device. Might I also assume that
    it's Wi-Fi based, or is it cabled to the main unit?
    Again, I'm not qualified to provide a proper response. I'm just sort of trying to hold your attention while other folks think upon an answer that can actually help you.
  6. Sep 7, 2009 #5
    No. We are using a real racket. Currently, we have a Virtual Reality tracking device to track the player's motion. It's a haptic tennis game project.

    We added a simple relay motor to create vibration to the racket. So far, it works ok. But we think it is not realistic so we want to find some impulsive actuator that could bring the feedback as close as possible to the real tennis game experience.

    Currently, it's nt wi-fi based but we are thinking of changing to bluetooth soon. But first, gt to settle the actuator prob. Any idea?

    Does anyone know of any good actuator company?

    thanks for yr help

  7. Sep 7, 2009 #6


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    How about maybe a long-throw solenoid in the handle, with a rubber 'snubber' at the end? With appropriate gearing and/or leverage, its impact might be translated to a horizontal feedback that mimics a real tennis stroke.
    Sorry that I don't know of any sources, or more about the subject.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  8. Sep 7, 2009 #7
    Thanks. Solenoid actuator is also one area we are thinking of using but we worry that the impulsive force may not be sufficient.

    I am thinking of piezo impact drive mechanism (IDM). A google search of IDM reveals mostly research paper rather than suppliers. I'll google search again. Not sure if IDM will work or not. Does anyone have any idea of any actuator company that provides IDM?


  9. Sep 7, 2009 #8


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    I'm afraid that I've reached the end of my semi-useful input. Someone else will have to take over. I don't know anything about this stuff. :frown:
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