ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06

1aBV2. Tactile perception with haptic displays.

Janet M. Weisenberger

Dept. of Speech and Hear. Sci., Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH 43210

Tactile sensing of objects and surfaces is typically accomplished via movement of the hand or fingers relative to the object being sensed, a mode known as haptic touch. Despite this fact, most previous work on the tactile response to complex vibratory stimuli has employed stationary displays. Although pattern movement can be simulated on these displays, kinesthetic feedback from active movement of the hand is absent. The present paper describes a series of studies employing a haptic vibratory display for the index fingertip that can be moved across a surface to encounter and scan virtual stimuli, thus preserving kinesthetic feedback. Experiments comparing this haptic scanning mode to stationary display modes showed a significant superiority of haptic scanning. However, most of this advantage was attributable to the ability to scan patterns repeatedly and from multiple directions, and not to haptics per se. Further experiments examined whether reductions in the display's field of view could be compensated by haptic scanning. Dramatic reductions in the field of view showed minimal decreases in performance when haptic scanning was employed. Results are discussed in terms of the role of haptics in tactile sensing and implications for the development of tactile displays. [Work supported by Systems Research Laboratories and ASFOSR.]