Like any other design process, the design of haptic systems is largely influenced by the optimization of a technical system, which is based on the consideration of a large number of decisions about individual components that usually influence each other. At the beginning, the requirements of the customer or the project must be defined. The methods presented in Chap. 5 should be used to systematically identify the most important aspects of these requirements. However, the engineer should be aware of the fact that less precise and unambiguous terms are available for describing a human-machine-interface than one is used to. In addition, knowledge of the customer can lead to considerable confusion, since haptic terms in particular, such as resolution or dynamics, can be used in the wrong context or misunderstood. A better definition of the requirements without major misunderstandings is achieved, for example, by giving the customer aids, ”shows-and-tells” of haptics. It is necessary that the customer and the engineer come to a common understanding based on references known to both. It seems very promising to describe very thoroughly the interactions that the user should be able to perform with the task-specific haptic system, since they have a great impact on the design of the system and the requirements derived from the capabilities of the haptic sense. For this reason, an understanding of the specifics of haptics on the part of the engineer is necessary, a skilled engineer navigates the customer through this unknown territory. These skills should not be limited to the technical characteristics described in Chaps. 2 and 3, but should also include some knowledge of the ”soft”, i.e. psychological and social, aspects of haptics, as described in Sect. 1.3.

Based on the above requirements, the technical design process can begin. For this purpose, an adapted version of the commonly known V-model is given in Chap. 4. This approach tries to integrate all the above aspects in a structured way. One of the very first decisions is the choice of the structure of the haptic system Chap. 6. Although this decision is at the very beginning of the design process, a rough sketch of the favored structure of the device to be developed must necessarily be made. This requires considerable knowledge of all areas of haptic device design, which will be needed again later in the actual design phase.

In addition to the decision on the general structure already mentioned, the basis of the design of kinesthetic and tactile systems is their kinematic structure (Chap. 8). According to the considerations made for the kinematics concerning the transmission and gear ratios, the working volume and the resolution to be achieved, suitable actuators are selected or even designed. In Chap. 9 the basis for this is laid by comparing the different actuator principles. Examples of their realizations, including unusual solutions for haptic applications, provide a useful collection for any engineer to combine kinematic requirements for maximum forces and translations with impedances and resolutions.

As admittance-controlled systems with kinaesthetic and tactile applications become more important, force sensors must be considered as another component of haptic devices. In Sect. 10.5, this technology is introduced and the tools as well as the opportunities but also the challenges associated with its application are conveyed. A common application of haptic devices is in the human-machine interface of simulators, whether for games ranging from action to adventure, or for more serious applications for training surgeons or in the military or industrial design.

The design steps presented so far allow the haptic device to provide a tactile or kinesthetic output to the user and often measure a response. Especially with today’s computer technology, the data will almost always be connected to a standard interface PC. The requirements derived from this interface are subjected to a representation of standard interface technology in Chap. 11, comparing the performance of the interfaces.

Given the fairly common use of haptic devices to represent interaction, whether in virtual environments or to enhance telemanipulation or simply as a means of impact in mobile devices, there must be a deep strategy to restore the impression of touch. This is done through a sophisticated combination of software solutions and data models. For a related introduction, see Chap. 12.

The cross-section given in this book is intended to improve and further accelerate the design of haptic devices and to avoid the most critical mistakes typically made during the design process. Research in the field of haptic devices is making impressive progress. Adapted control concepts appear every few months; the use of haptic perception methods for design-shortcuts has proven itself to be beneficial. Actuators are continuously improved; combinations of principles with haptically interesting properties appear on the market every few years. Closed-loop control systems became more and more interesting due to the increasing availability of highly dynamic, high-resolution force sensors and powerful controllers. The whole area of touchscreens created a market need pushing researchers, new startups and industrial side-entries into this growing market. This dynamic in a still comparably young field obliges engineers to follow current developments in research and industry closely. We hope, that this book is able to contribute to the understanding!