[robotics-worldwide] The latest issue of IEEE Transactions on Haptics (Vol. 2, No. 4) is online

MBartosik at computer.org MBartosik at computer.org
Fri Nov 20 10:46:54 PST 2009


This is to notify you that the October-December 2009 (Vol. 2, No. 4) issue 
of IEEE Transactions on Haptics is now online. You can access any of the 
following articles and columns individually from the table of contents, or 
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Mark Bartosik
Digital Production Specialist

IEEE Computer Society
Exploring the Worlds of Touch: A Forum for Science, Technology, and 


A Tactile Seat for Direction Coding in Car Driving: Field Evaluation
Jeroen H. Hogema, Sjoerd C. De Vries, Jan B.F. Van Erp, Raymond J. Kiefer

This in-traffic, field study examined the merit of using a car seat 
instrumented with tactile stimulation elements (tactors) to communicate 
directional information to a driver. A car seat fitted with an 8 \times 8 
matrix of tactors embedded in the seat pan was used to code eight 
different directions (the four cardinal and four oblique directions). With 
this seat mounted in a car, a field study was conducted under both smooth 
road and brick road vibratory conditions. The primary performance measures 
were directional accuracy and reaction time, measured under both alerted 
and simulated surprise conditions. Overall, the results show that the 
tactile chair seat provides a promising and robust method of providing 
directional information. The percentage of correct directional responses 
was very high (92 percent of all trials), and incorrect responses were 
typically just one location segment (45 degrees) off.

Cues for Haptic Perception of Compliance
Wouter M. Bergmann Tiest, Astrid M.L. Kappers

For the perception of the hardness of compliant materials, several cues 
are available. In this paper, the relative roles of force/displacement and 
surface deformation cues are investigated. We have measured discrimination 
thresholds with silicone rubber stimuli of differing thickness and 
compliance. Also, the influence of the finger span is assessed. When 
compliance is expressed as the Young's modulus, the thresholds in the 
different conditions follow Weber's law with a Weber fraction of 15 
percent. When the surface deformation cue was removed, thresholds more 
than trebled. Under the assumption of optimal cue combination, this 
suggests that a large fraction of the information comes from the surface 
deformation cue. Using a matching experiment, we found that differences in 
object thickness are correctly taken into account. When cues appear to 
contradict each other, the conflict is resolved by means of a compromise.

Designing for Feel: Contrasts between Human and Automated Parametric 
Capture of Knob Physics
Colin Swindells, Karon E. MacLean, Kellogg S. Booth

We examine a crucial aspect of a tool intended to support designing for 
feel: the ability of an objective physical-model identification method to 
capture perceptually relevant parameters, relative to human identification 
performance. The feel of manual controls, such as knobs, sliders, and 
buttons, becomes critical when these controls are used in certain 
settings. Appropriate feel enables designers to create consistent control 
behaviors that lead to improved usability and safety. For example, a heavy 
knob with stiff detents for a power plant boiler setting may afford better 
feedback and safer operations, whereas subtle detents in an automobile 
radio volume knob may afford improved ergonomics and driver attention to 
the road. To assess the quality of our identification method, we compared 
previously reported automated model captures for five real mechanical 
reference knobs with captures by novice and expert human participants who 
were asked to adjust four parameters of a rendered knob model to match the 
feel of each reference knob. Participants indicated their satisfaction 
with the matches their renderings produced. We observed similar relative 
inertia, friction, detent strength, and detent spacing parameterizations 
by human experts and our automatic estimation methods. Qualitative results 
provided insight on users' strategies and confidence. While experts (but 
not novices) were better able to ascertain an underlying model in the 
presence of unmodeled dynamics, the objective algorithm outperformed all 
humans when an appropriate physical model was used. Our studies 
demonstrate that automated model identification can capture knob dynamics 
as perceived by a human, and they also establish limits to that ability; 
they comprise a step towards pragmatic design guidelines for embedded 
physical interfaces in which methodological expedience is informed by 
human perceptual requirements.

Fingerpad Skin Stretch Increases the Perception of Virtual Friction
William R. Provancher, Nicholas D. Sylvester

This research focuses on the relative importance of fingerpad skin stretch 
on the perception of friction. It is hypothesized that the perceived 
magnitude of friction rendered by traditional force feedback can be 
increased through the addition of fingertip skin stretch. Perceptual data 
are presented from two separate tests performed on nine male subjects. The 
first experiment determines the perceptual thresholds for friction based 
on a modified Karnopp friction model where friction is rendered as purely 
a kinesthetic resistance via a PHANToM force feedback device. JNDs of 
0.056-0.150 corresponding to static coefficients for friction of \mu_s = 
0.2\hbox{-}0.8 were established. The second experiment evaluates possible 
changes in the perceived friction magnitude due to imposing small amounts 
of tangential skin stretch (0.25-0.75 mm) to the fingerpad in combination 
with force feedback (kinesthetic resistance). Our results show that even 
these small amounts of skin stretch lead to a statistically significant 
increase in perceived friction ({\rm p} < 0.01). This significant finding 
will enable the hapticians to more realistically and accurately render 
friction via a combination of kinesthetic resistance and tactile feedback.

Using Kinesthetic and Tactile Cues to Maintain Exercise Intensity
Aaron R. Ferber, Michael Peshkin, J. Edward Colgate

Haptic cues may be able to assist an individual who is engaged in a manual 
control task, freeing visual and auditory attention for other mental 
tasks. We describe an experiment in which subjects attempted to step at a 
consistent pace on a stair climber exercise machine which was modified for 
haptic cuing through the legs. Subjects' visual attention was engaged by a 
video game. Five different haptic cues for consistent pacing were 
investigated, two of them more kinesthetic in nature and three that were 
more tactile. Results showed that haptic cues could indeed improve the 
manual control task performance without diminishing the visual attention 
task performance. The tactile cues generally outperformed the kinesthetic 


Cross-Modal Transfer in Visual and Haptic Face Recognition
Lisa Dopjans, Christian Wallraven, Heinrich H. Bulthoff

We report four psychophysical experiments investigating cross-modal 
transfer in visual and haptic face recognition. We found surprisingly good 
haptic performance and cross-modal transfer for both modalities. 
Interestingly, transfer was asymmetric depending on which modality was 
learned first. These findings are discussed in relation to haptic object 
processing and face processing.

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