Sensory substitution using 3-degree-of-freedom tangential and normal skin deformation feedback

Zhan Fan Quek, Samuel B. Schorr, Ilana Nisky, William R. Provancher, Allison M. Okamura

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


During manual interactions, we experience both kinesthetic forces and tactile sensations. Friction and normal force between the fingerpads and the tool/interaction surfaces cause shear and normal deformation of the skin. Capitalizing on this observation, we designed a 3-degree-of-freedom (DoF) tactile device that is grasped by a user and can render both tangential skin stretch and normal deformation on the skin of the user's fingerpads. Tactile feedback from the device is delivered in a manner consistent with natural tactile cues from manual interaction. An experiment assessed the accuracy with which users can locate the center of a contoured hole on a virtual surface. The task was completed under four conditions: the cases of skin deformation and force feedback, with both 3- and 1-DoF feedback in each case. With 3-DoF feedback, users located the hole faster and more accurately than with 1-DoF feedback, for both force and skin deformation feedback. These results indicated that users were able to interpret the additional DoF cues provided by our 3-DoF tactile device to improve task performance.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationIEEE Haptics Symposium 2014, HAPTICS 2014 - Proceedings
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event2014 IEEE Haptics Symposium, HAPTICS 2014 - Houston, TX, United States
Duration: 23 Feb 201426 Feb 2014

Publication series

NameIEEE Haptics Symposium, HAPTICS


Conference2014 IEEE Haptics Symposium, HAPTICS 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHouston, TX


  • H.5.2 [Information Interfaces and Presentation]:User Interfaces?Haptic I/O
  • L.2.0.b [Haptics]: Haptics Technology?Tactile Devices

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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