In the Microdynamics Systems Laboratory we are interested in measuring how much reality a haptic device can deliver (its fidelity). We have used our magnetic levitation haptic interface to perform a set of psychophysical experiments that examine the way in which users interact with real and virtual haptic worlds. For an introduction, an elementary discussion of haptics can be found in the encyclopedia article "Haptics" by Ralph Hollis.
Previous investigations of haptic fidelity have mostly focused on engineering qualities related to device kinematics and dynamics such as frequency response or position bandwidth. In contrast, psychophysical studies of haptic fidelity apply careful metrics to user task performance during the execution of a simple task.