Haptic devices tend to be kept small as it is easier to achieve a large change of stiffness with a low associated apparent mass. If large movements are required there is a usually a reduction in the quality of the haptic sensations which can be displayed. The typical measure of haptic device performance is impedance-width (z-width) but this does not account for actuator saturation, usable workspace or the ability to do rapid movements. This paper presents the analysis and evaluation of a haptic device design, utilizing a variant of redundant kinematics, sometimes referred to as a macro-micro configuration, intended to allow large and fast movements without loss of impedance-width. A brief mathematical analysis of the design constraints is given and a prototype system is described where the effects of different elements of the control scheme can be examined to better understand the potential benefits and trade-offs in the design. Finally, the performance of the system is evaluated using a Fitts’ Law test and found to compare favourably with similar evaluations of smaller workspace devices.
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