EuroHaptics 2016

Even years mean Eurohaptics year! This time, Imperial College in London invited The  haptics community. As every year, there were exciting works at the conference from all aspects of haptics, find our highlights for the design of task-specific haptic interfaces in this post!

A large number of papers dealt with the haptic display of textures based on electrovibration or friction modulation. For friction modulation [1] proposes two different rendering alorithms that try to compensate for the relatively low bandwidth of capacitive sensing. From the same group, [2] proposes algorithms for multi-finger interaction with friction modulation displays. [3] investigates the minimal duty cycle of a friction modulation, that cannot be detected by the user in order to minimize mobile power consumption.
For electrovibration, [4] proposes a framework to develop electrovibration stimuli and [5] finds psychophysical evidence, that also electrovibration perception exhibits linear features: the individual threshold for each frequency of a composed signal has to be exceeded to be perceived.

For system design, we’d like to point out a couple of works that present interesting ideas to improve the haptic quality of kinesthetic systems. [6] proposes a sprag-type clutch between actuator and user to provide low inertia for free-space movements and high stiffness at the same time. In [7], serial elastic actuator and admittance controlled actuators were compared – SEA perform slightly better at free-space movements, but worse for high stiffnesses. A very interesting and convincing work was presented in [8] – a consecutive changing of the force output of a commercial impedance-controlled device over a couple of position increments near a rendered stiff wall yields impressive stiff, yet stable interactions. In [9], a particle jamming display was presented for the rendering of objects with different sizes and stiffness.

In the psychophysics part of the conference, a couple of interesting works offers new insights into the sense of touch. The best paper award was given to [10], where evidence was found that neural signal processing will consider spatial localization of tactile stimuli first before stimulus frequency is evaluated. [11] confirmed the hue-heat hypothesis (the color of an object will affect the perception of its temperature) and [12] showed that vibrotactile stimulation at the forearm can mask vibrotactile stimuli of the same frequency at the index finger. In [13], a second actor at a distant location could increase the fidelity in terms of a perceived larger area and higher intensity compared to a single-point stimulation.

 

Despite these results, there were a lot of interesting works at the conference. If you haven’t been there, check out the proceedings (Part I, Part II), if you have been at the conference, tell us what your favorite work was! We like to thank William Harvin and his team for the organization of the conference – you did a great job!
Next Eurohaptics conference will take place in Pisa in 2018 – so be sure to block June 13-16 in your calendars.

References:

[1] Vezzoli et al.: Texture Rendering Strategies with a High Fidelity – Capacitive Visual-Haptic Friction Control Device
[2] Ghenna et al:. Modal Superimposition for Multi-fingers Variable Friction Tactile Device
[3] Sednaoui et al: Psychophysical Power Optimization of Friction Modulation for Tactile Interfaces
[4] Vidrih et al.: Electrovibration Signal Design A Simulative Approach (see also IEEE Transactions on Haptics, DOI: 10.1109/TOH.2015.2430353)
[5] Vardar et al: Effect of Waveform in Haptic Perception of Electrovibration on Touchscreens
[6] Song et al.: Co-actuation: Achieve High Stiffness and Low Inertia in Force Feedback Device
[7] Horibe et al.: Comparing Series Elasticity and Admittance Control for Haptic Rendering
[8] Singh et al.: Successive Stiffness Increment Approach for High Stiffness Haptic Interaction
[9] Usevitch et al.: End Effector for a Kinesthetic Haptic Device Capable of Displaying Variable Size and Stiffness
[10] McIntyre et al.: Temporal Integration of Tactile Inputs from Multiple Sites
[11] Ziat et al.: A Century Later, the Hue-Heat Hypothesis: Does Color Truly Affect Temperature Perception?
[12] Tanaka et al.: Frequency-Specific Masking Effect by Vibrotactile Stimulation to the Forearm
[13] Sakata et al: Multipoint Vibrotactile Stimuli Based on Vibration Propagation Enhance Collision Sensation

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Imperial College – Venue of EuroHaptics 2016

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