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Cross-cutting Challenges - Theme 1: Interactive Discussions
Cross-cutting Challenges
California East
A Fabric-Based Approach for Wearable Haptics: Neuroscience, Emotions and System Design
Matteo Bianchi
(University of Pisa, Italy)
Abstract: In recent years, wearable haptic systems (WHS) have gained increasing attention as a novel and exciting paradigm for human–robot interaction (HRI). These systems can be worn by users, carried around, and integrated in their everyday lives, thus enabling a more natural manner to deliver tactile cues. At the same time, the design of these types of devices presents new issues: the challenge is the identification of design guidelines, with the two-fold goal of minimizing system encumbrance and increasing the effectiveness and naturalness of stimulus delivery. The latter point can be successfully addressed moving from the correct understanding and mathematical modeling of human sensory mechanisms, e.g. to characterize mappings between cutaneous stimulation, motor acts, and percepts. Such a representation scheme could hence help to identify the most useful information for users for task accomplishment and to develop simple, effective, affordable and intuitive interfaces for HRI. Under this regard, fabrics can represent a viable technological solution for system design, which enables to successfully address the need for wearability. They are indeed specifically thought “to be worn”, imposing minimal constraints to users, and could be the key ingredient to develop WHS conceived for a natural human-machine interaction. In this talk, the author will present some examples of fabric-based WHS that can be applied to different body locations, and elicit different haptic perceptions, as well as sense user’s related information, for various application fields, including robotic-teleoperation, assistive robotics, augmented reality and human studies. The mutual inspiration between neuroscience and system design will be stressed. Finally, the emotional response that haptic systems can elicit in users will be discussed, an aspect that is often scarcely considered but that could significantly contribute to increase device acceptance and adoption in our everyday life – the latter represents the main motivation for wearable haptics. To achieve this goal, a general framework to evaluate the emotional counterpart of haptic stimuli through psycho-physiological tests and analysis of nervous system-related recordings will be described.


Time stamp: 2019-08-23T08:25:04+02:00