Comparing position and force control for interactive molecular simulators with haptic feedback

Abstract : This paper presents a novel tool for the analysis of new molecular structures which enables a wide variety of manipulations. It is composed of a molecular simulator and a haptic device. The simulation software deals with systems of hundreds or thousands of degrees of freedom and computes the reconfiguration of the molecules in a few tenths of a second. For the ease of manipulation and to help the operator understand nanoscale phenomena, a haptic device is connected to the simulator. To handle a wide variety of applications, both position and force control are implemented. To our knowledge, this is the first time the applications of force control are detailed for molecular simulation. These two control modes are compared in terms of adequacy with molecular dynamics, transparency and stability sensitivity with respect to environmental conditions. Based on their specificity the operations they can realize are detailed. Experiments highlight the usability of our tool for the different steps of the analysis of molecular structures. It includes the global reconfiguration of a molecular system, the measurement of molecular properties and the comprehension of nanoscale interactions. Compared to most existing systems, the one developed in this paper offers a wide range of possible experiments. The detailed analysis of the properties of the control modes can be easily used to implement haptic feedback on other molecular simulators.
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Journal of Molecular Graphics and Modelling, Elsevier, 2010, 29 (2), pp.280-289. <10.1016/j.jmgm.2010.06.003>
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Aude Bolopion, Barthelemy Cagneau, Stephane Redon, Stéphane Régnier. Comparing position and force control for interactive molecular simulators with haptic feedback. Journal of Molecular Graphics and Modelling, Elsevier, 2010, 29 (2), pp.280-289. <10.1016/j.jmgm.2010.06.003>. <hal-00748030>

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