Haptic Devices: Wearability-Based Taxonomy and Literature Review

Adilzhan Adilkhanov, Matteo Rubagotti, Zhanat Kappassov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


In the last decade, several new haptic devices have been developed, contributing to the definition of more realistic virtual environments. An overview on this topic requires a description of the various technologies employed in building such devices, and of their application domains. This survey describes the current technology underlying haptic devices, based on the concept of “wearability level”. More than 90 devices, newly developed and described in scientific papers published in the period 2010-2021, are reviewed, which provide either haptic illusions or novel haptic feedback for teleoperation, entertainment, training, education, guidance and notification. As a result, the analyzed systems are divided into grounded, hand-held and wearable devices; the latter are further split into exoskeletons and gloves, finger-worn devices, and arm-worn devices. For the systems in each of these categories, descriptions and tables are provided that analyze their structure, including device mass and employed actuators, their applications, and other characteristics such as type of haptic feedback and tactile illusions. The paper also provides an overview of devices worn in parts of the human body other than arms and hands, and precisely haptic vests, jackets and belts, and haptic devices for head, legs and feet. Based on this analysis, the survey also provides a discussion on research gaps and challenges, and potential future directions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91923-91947
Number of pages25
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - Aug 29 2022


  • Exoskeletons
  • haptic devices
  • haptic illusions
  • Haptic interfaces
  • kinesthetic feedback
  • tactile feedback
  • Tactile sensors
  • Taxonomy
  • Virtual environments
  • Virtual reality
  • virtual reality interfaces
  • Wearable computers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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