M.S. Thesis Presentation by Samuel Dessolin
Monday, April 28, 2003

(Dr. Wayne Book, advisor)

"Membrane Models for a Controllable Surface"


Digital Clay is currently being developed as a novel input/output haptic device. The purpose of the project is to build a tabletop device, actuated with fluid, with an almost continuously variable surface that conveys shape and stiffness information between user and computer. The operative part of the Digital Clay is composed of a 3-D network of discrete actuators covered with a hyper elastic membrane. In parallel to the building of the first physical digital clay prototype, the Controls group has in charge to create a model and to study control through it. This model should be scalable and adaptable to evolution in the physical prototype. The issue of the thesis is concentrated on the membrane and the study of its behavior and interaction with actuators. The goal is to generate a membrane model that would be included in the general device model. Using a finite element code, taking into account the hyperelasticity nature of the materials and the non linearity of the behavior, the thesis would study the mechanical influence of the membrane.