When Machines Touch Back: Simulating — and Stimulating — the Most Intimate of Senses

Thomas Massie invented the Phantom, a computer peripheral for simulating the sense of touch, that became the de facto device for haptics research. The thesis recounts the story of Massie, his invention, and present and potential applications as varied as telesurgery and teledildonics. Along the way the thesis explores the science of touch and considers the implications of the fact that perhaps the most reassuring and intimate of senses can be simulated.



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