Improving the learning of physics concepts by using haptic devices uri icon


  • © 2015 IEEE.Haptic devices are electro-mechanical tools controlled by computers that allow to recreate the sense of touch. They enhance the sense of interaction with virtual objects from purely visual to haptic and visual. One of its application areas is in training environments, where the users can interact with virtual objects to learn procedures or tasks. In this paper we describe the use of haptic devices to improve the learning process of basic physics concepts from electromagnetism and the haptic tools via simulation of magnetic forces in 3D. We have created three scenarios with different distribution of charges: point charge, line charge, and plane charge. Each scenario was properly calibrated and has different force feedback (quadratic, linear, and constant) depending on the scenario. We wanted to investigate how forces are perceived by students. A user study was carried out to assess students' perception and knowledge acquired when they were working with the system. Results suggest that students from the treatment group achieved better understanding than those from the control group. Results also indicate that 95% of the students considered that the use of haptic devices combined with appropriate virtual environments facilitated them to understand the nature and origin of electrical forces.

Publication date

  • December 2, 2015