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Geomagic OpenHaptics Toolkit


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Geomagic® OpenHaptics® Toolkit 

Version 3.0 of the OpenHaptics software development toolkit dramatically simplifies and speeds the touch-enabling of computer applications. Designed to work with Geomagic force-feedback haptic devices, version 3.0 includes the QuickHaptics™ micro API, which enables any professional with even passing familiarity with C++ to quickly and easily add the kinesthetic feel of what users see and/or hear on a computer screen.



QuickHaptics Micro API

Write a simple graphic/haptics application using 8 lines of programming code insead of 300! QuickHaptics enables rapid program design and deployment, and is ideal for mash-ups into existing applications, trying out new ideas, and creating haptic examples. Using graphic and haptic function calls that encapsulate the logical steps for typical haptic applications, QucikHaptics makes it incredibly faster and easier to write new haptic applications, or to add haptics to existing applications.

Features in OpenHaptics v3.0

  • Linux support, including support for 7 DOF option, pinch grips, and customized grips - OpenHaptics now provides support and installers for most of the common Linux distros such as the latest versions of OpenSuse, Fedora, and Ubuntu. RPM, DEBIAN and TGZ packages are provided for easy installation across various linux distros. Use OpenHaptics to develop Linux applications that require 7DOF positional sensing. Utilize Sensable's interchangeable snap-on end effectors or design your own custom grip for 6DOF Phantoms.
  • Windows 7 support - Use OpenHaptics on the latest computers running Windows 7, or continue running XP.
  • Depth of penetration - Continuously monitor the depth of penetration from the surface contact point, and set different force parameters accordingly. Ideal for simulations, such as an epidural injection, that mimic the feel of a needle passing through different layers of tissue.
  • Support for standard 3D model file formats - Load 3D models with textures in a single command.
  • Support for 3DS, OBJ, STL, and PLY eliminates the need to convert 3D models to special formats prior to programming.
  • Adjust torque parameters on 6DOF devices - Make individual adjustments to the torque parameters for pitch, roll, and yaw on the gimbal.
  • New demos and source code examples - Jump-start your application development with new demos and examples that show you how to:
  • Integrate QuickHaptics with lower-levels of OpenHaptics; Use haptics to place a medical tool in the correct position;
  • Define your own force model;
  • Set different material properties depending on depth of penetration.
  • OpenHaptics v3.0 is available for Microsoft Windows 32-bit and 64-bit XP and Vista, as well as for Linux.
  • See the System Requirements for more information.
  • The OpenHaptics toolkit supports the range of supported Sensable PHANTOM devices from the low-cost Phantom Omni device to the larger Phantom Premiums and Premium 6DOF devices.

OpenHaptics v3.0 for win32 and x64 Windows 7, Vista and XP


  • Dual Xeon® Pentium® IV 2.4 GHz or better processor or higher
  • 512 MB free disk space
  • 2 GB RAM
  • Depending on PHANTOM model: Parallel Port (EPPMode port built into the motherboard or an Axxon parallel adapter card is recommended) or FireWire 1394a* or a 10/100Mbps compatible Ethernet adapter

Laptop Computers

  • Interfaces have not been fully tested on laptop computers
  • In general, PCMCIA cards seem to retain connectivity better than Express cards
  • Please make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and use the most up-to-date driver for whichever card is chosen
  • Software: Windows® XP-32 (SP3), XP-64 (SP2), Vista-32 (SP2), Vista-64 (SP2) or Windows 7, (win32 or x64)
  • Compilers: Microsoft® Visual C++ 2005 (SP2) or Visual C++; 2008 or Visual C++ 2010
  • May require recompiling HDU and HLU Utility libraries
  • Drivers: PHANTOM Device Driver v5.1.7 or above
  • One of the supported PHANTOM haptic devices. Please note that PCI-based PHANTOM Premium devices are not supported.
  • PHANTOM Omni (FireWire IEEE 1394a)*
  • PHANTOM Desktop (Parallel Port or LAN port)
  • PHANTOM Premium 1.0, 1.5, 1.5 High Force, 3.0 (Parallel Port or LAN port)
  • PHANTOM Premium 1.5/6DOF, 1.5HF/6DOF, 3.0/6DOF (Parallel Port)
  • NOTE: the PHANTOM Communication Converter (PCC) is available for Parallel Port devices to be used with a FireWire interface.

OpenHaptics v3.0 for Linux


  • Dual Xeon® Pentium® IV 2.4 GHz or better processor or higher. To interface with the Sensable Desktop or Premium devices, EPP mode parallel-port built into the motherboard is required.
  • 512 MB disk space and 2 GB RAM.


  • Ubuntu 11.1 and Fedora 16 (or later)
  • Kernel 3.3.0 or higher
  • Mesa-OpenGL® with GLX interface to the X Window System®. Make sure that "glxgears" runs on your system
  • GLUT-OpenGL Utility Toolkit
  • MesaGLw-Mesa Widget Library. Requires the Motif bindings (built with ./configure --enable-motif)
  • FreeType2-Portable font engine (http://www.freetype.org)
  • Compilers: gcc 4.x
  • Drivers: PHANTOM Device Drivers v 4.3-2* or above

* To find kernel version type "uname -r" at the terminal. For additional questions please check the online documents at the Developer Support Center (http://dsc.sensable.com) or post questions to the developer forums.

One of the Supported PHANTOM Models.

  • PHANTOM Omni (FireWire IEEE 1394a)*
  • PHANTOM Desktop (Parallel Port)
  • PHANTOM Premium 1.0, 1.5, 3.0 (Parallel Port)
  • PHANTOM Premium 1.5/6DOF, 3.0/6DOF (Parallel Port)

Please note that the following configurations are NOT Supported:

  • High Force PHANTOM Premium devices
  • PHANTOM Communication Converter
  • Dual PHANTOM Configurations
  • PCI-based PHANTOM Premium devices

Available for Download at Sensable's Developer Support Center (DSC)

* The PHANTOM Omni device is IEEE 1394a compliant. However, Sensable is aware of customers that have experienced performance difficulties with their PHANTOM devices when using controller cards with certain IEEE 1394a chipset or driver combinations. In these cases, it may be necessary to update or change the 1394 controller card driver or to try a separate add-on 1394 controller card.

Proper operation and control of the Haptic Servo Loop requires sufficient "real-time" performance of the host computer. Under Windows, to measure the system latency on your computer, please use the DPC Latency Checker, available at TheSyCon website. If the red bars appear regularly more often than every 5-7 seconds, please consider updating your BIOS, chipset firmware, system devices or other device drivers.

Such a low-level system update may also be in order in cases where the FireWire or Parallel communication with the PHANTOM device hangs or is inconsistent or intermittent; or when the whole operating system has been upgraded - from XP to Windows 7 for example.