This study presents a novel design of a miniature haptic actuator based on Magneto-Rheological (MR) fluids for mobile applications, and it evaluates the performance of a haptic actuator using a simulation model. The primary design goal for a haptic actuator for mobile applications is to miniaturize its size while generating realistic haptic sensations. To this end, this study proposes to design the MR actuator’s piston head (or plunger) in cone-shape and activate multiple modes of MR fluids (direct shear, flow and squeeze modes). Using a simulation model developed by integrating magnetic and force equations, the performance of a haptic actuator was evaluated in terms of the force (resistive force) produced by the actuator. The results show that a small actuator model, dimension of 10 mm (L) × 10 mm (W) × 6.5 mm (H), produced a maximum resistive force of about 5 N at 0.3 Watts, which is sufficient to provide force feedback to users.

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