Artificial Life and Robotics

, Volume 24, Issue 4, pp 542–549 | Cite as

A high-performance haptic rendering system for virtual reality molecular modeling

  • Arif Pramudwiatmoko
  • Satoru Tsutoh
  • Gregory Gutmann
  • Yutaka UenoEmail author
  • Akihiko Konagaya
Original Article



To provide a virtual reality 3D user interface with comprehensive molecular modeling, we have developed a novel haptic rendering system with a fingertip haptic rendering device and a hand-tracking Leap Motion controller.


The system handles virtual molecular objects with real hands motion captured by the Leap Motion controller in a virtual reality environment. The fingertip haptic rendering device attached on each finger and a wrist gives haptic display, when virtual hands manipulating virtual molecular objects.


Based on preliminary software development studies using existing 3D graphics toolkit such as CHAI3D and Unity, the fingertip haptic rendering device works with a reasonable performance for a polygon surface model and a ribbon model, but not for an atomic model due to the low rendering performance. On the other hand, the device provides us a grasping feeling of a large molecule represented by an atomic model, when used with the particle simulation system running on graphics library, DirectX 12. The haptic rendering performances, among the three software systems are discussed.


Haptic rendering Hand tracking Molecular modeling 



This study is based on results obtained from an Artificial Molecular Muscle project commissioned by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) Japan. The authors would like to thank the Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP) for supporting the author with a scholarship.


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Copyright information

© International Society of Artificial Life and Robotics (ISAROB) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceTokyo Institute of TechnologyYokohamaJapan
  2. 2.Universitas Teknologi YogyakartaYogyakartaIndonesia
  3. 3.Research & Technology GroupFuji Xerox Co., LtdAshigarakami-gunJapan
  4. 4.Artificial Intelligence Research CenterNational Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and TechnologyTokyoJapan

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