Local Haptic Actuation System
US Patent Application 15/256,197, filed September 2, 2016, pending.download pdf
A haptic actuator device includes a surface with a mechanical property responsive to localized temperature changes. The surface can include a layer or sheet comprising a shape-memory material. The haptic actuator device can further include an actuator configured to selectively deform a plurality of regions in the sheet; and a temperature controller adapted to control the temperatures of the plurality of regions. A method of localized actuation includes selectively controlling the temperatures of the plurality of regions to be above a shape-memory transition temperature of the shape-memory material; selectively deforming at least one of the regions; while maintaining the deformation of the at least one region, lowering the temperature of the at least one region to below the shape-memory transition temperature; subsequently withdrawing the applied stress; and thereafter heating the at least one region to above the shape-memory transition temperature, causing the region to return to its pre-deformation shape.