This project investigates human perception of haptic, or touch, cues. In the field of haptics, there is a need for a standardized method to characterize haptic cues and assess human perception of these cues. Most haptic devices are characterized using methods that are unique to the experiment, making direct comparisons across studies challenging. To meet these needs, we have developed the AIMS (Adjustable Instrumented Multisensory Stimuli) Testbed, a modular and instrumented testbed that allows for flexible testing of and comparison between haptic cues. We believe this system can serve as a platform capable of reproducibly measuring the effects and interactions for a wide range of haptic devices and cue sets.
Our first experiments using this testing platform have focused on multi-sensory haptic systems. These systems have become popular because they have the potential to transfer a wide variety of information to a human user by simultaneously providing information using different haptic cue types. However, these systems may also cause undesirable perceptual interference, which has already been observed in wearable systems that simultaneously convey skin stretch and squeeze cues. To investigate this observed perceptual interference, we are currently measuring human haptic perception of skin stretch and squeeze independently as well as in the presence of an interfering cue. The next step will be to use these results to develop design guidelines for wearable haptic devices to mitigate the effect of perceptual interference.
Z. A. Zook, Fleck, J. J., Tjandra, T. W., and O'Malley, M. K., “Effect of Interference on Multi-Sensory Haptic Perception of Stretch and Squeeze”, 2019 IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC). IEEE, Tokyo, Japan, 2019.
"A Cutaneous Haptic Cue Characterization Testbed", 2019 IEEE World Haptics Conference (WHC). IEEE, Tokyo, Japan, 2019.,