A new haptic device for applications in virtual reality and humanoid robotics

Michele Folgheraiter, Giuseppina Gini, Dario L. Vercesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents an innovative haptic interface that allows to simulate a generic touch sensation thanks to the integration of an electro-cutaneous device and a force-feedback system. After investigating different levels of interaction with the human perceiving system, with the main goal to implement a virtual reality device with high sense rendering capabilities, we developed a special glove. It is controlled with a TENS (Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation) board that enables electro-cutaneous stimulation on the user fingertip, and a force-feedback system that restricts the user finger movements. To integrate the visual with the touch sensation, we created a 3D virtual model of the environment which is synchronized with the user movements. The user wears the glove and explores the virtual object via a sequence of interactions with it. We conducted different kinds of experiments to find the best pattern of cutaneous stimulations. Then we introduced the visual and force-feedback modalities and evaluated the psychophysical effects of the combination of touch, force and visual feedbacks. We also found that it is possible to generate two kinds of haptic sensations, the beat and the vibration, with appropriate settings of signal amplitude, duty cycle and frequencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-262
Number of pages14
JournalIntegrated Computer-Aided Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Electro-tactile stimulation
  • Haptic devices
  • Haptic display
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence

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