DOI: https://doi.org/10.1115/dmd2021-1051May 11, 2021Proceedings Paper

The Effect of Mechanical Coupling on the Perception of Haptic Feedback

Frank L. Hammond, Alicia Molina

Abstract

A wearable sensory transfer armband was developed to display haptic feedback on the forearm. This device provides focalized mechanotactile feedback in the form of pressure with balloon-like pneumatic actuators. The balloons inflate to exert pressure against the skin just below them. In order to understand and control how the feedback device interacts with the user, its performance was characterized by measuring the pneumatics’ internal pressure, the force applied against the arm surface by the balloon, and the air volume injected into the balloon. The mechanical coupling, or fit, of the feedback display against the arm was also characterized and varied as the previous parameters were observed, any changes and how these pertain to the perception of haptic feedback were analyzed. The study revealed that mechanical coupling significantly affects the forces felt against the forearm. The study also showed that the perception of haptic feedback can vary depending on the anatomical location on the forearm where feedback is applied.

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