PalpSim is the world's first augmented reality environment for medical procedures training. The simulator hardware is masked from view using chroma-key techniques. The trainee sees a computer generated patient and needle, and interacts using their own hands. This simulation provides a high level of face validity for training how to use palpation to identify the location of a blood vessel for needle puncture.
The palpation step requires both force and tactile feedback. For the palpation haptics effect, two off-the-shelf force feedback devices have been linked together to provide a hybrid device that gives five degrees of force feedback. This is combined with a custom built hydraulic interface to provide a pulse like tactile effect. The needle interface is based on a modified PHANTOM Omni end effector that allows a real interventional radiology needle to be mounted and used during simulation.