William R. Provancher

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A new approach for climbing hard vertical surfaces has been developed that allows a robot to scale concrete, stucco, brick and masonry walls without using suction or adhesives. The approach is inspired by the mechanisms observed in some climbing insects and spiders and involves arrays of microspines that catch on surface asperities. The arrays are located(More)
-A new climbing robot has been developed that can scale flat, hard vertical surfaces including concrete, brick, stucco and masonry without using suction or adhesives. The robot can carry a payload equal to its own weight and can cling without consuming power. It employs arrays of miniature spines that catch opportunistically on surface asperities. The(More)
A variety of tasks could benefit from the availability of direction cues that do not rely on vision or sound. The application of tangential skin displacement at the fingertip has been found to be a reliable means of communicating direction and has potential to be rendered by a compact device. Our lab has conducted experiments exploring the use of this type(More)
This research focuses on the relative importance of fingerpad skin stretch on the perception of friction. It is hypothesized that the perceived magnitude of friction rendered by traditional force feedback can be increased through the addition of fingertip skin stretch. Perceptual data are presented from two separate tests performed on nine male subjects.(More)
This work presents a new haptic device that integrates contact location feedback with grounded point-force display. The system consists of a thimble-based mechanism attached to the endpoint of a Phantom R robotic arm. Contact location is rendered using a small tactile element that moves along the length of the user’s fingerpad. The Phantom R robot applies(More)
Despite significant research focused on running robots, very little progress has been made towards legged robots that are capable of climbing in natural environments. Unlike their running counterparts, climbing robots must generate hand or foot holds capable of pulling them toward the substrate. The majority of efforts to develop climbing robots have been(More)
iii I certify that I have read this dissertation and that in my opinion it is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. I certify that I have read this dissertation and that in my opinion it is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. I certify that(More)
This paper presents the design and initial characterization of a video game controller prototype with tactile skin stretch displays embedded into its thumb joysticks. This work builds on previous work using lateral skin stretch at a single fingertip to provide direction cues. Our game controller allows a gamer to receive directional tactile feedback through(More)