The device that senses texture when touching an object

How we sense the actual reality through touching.
Image credit: RE TOUCH LAB

UCSB (UC Santa Barbara) researchers are studying models and patterns of vibration on the skin of hand to understand more deeply how we sense the actual reality through touching. The fact is that scientists don’t yet know for sure how the mechanism of touch sensation actually works. Therefore, they have created a device that senses texture when touching an object and captures patterns of vibration in the skin during touching. The device consists of very small vibration sensors and accelerometers, it clamps on the user’s hand and fingers. Different types of touch have distinctive vibration signatures and UCSB researchers have cataloged all of these distinctions.


The vibrations of touch

“It is possible that the hand, like the ear, is able to use vibrations produced through contact in order to infer what is being touched, and how the hand is touching it”, said Yon Visell, UCSB assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

UCSB researcher Yon Visell
UCSB researcher Yon Visell, photo credit: Sonia Fernandez

The importance of research in this area is invaluable. The new technology will help us to understand better how the mechanism of touch sensation works. It can be used in virtual reality and for creating advanced robotics. Additionally, the device that senses texture when touching an object will be used for creating a new generation of hand prostheses with more natural touch feedback.

The patterns of vibration on the skin of the hand during touch
Spatial Patterns of Cutaneous Vibration During Whole-Hand Haptic Interactions, image credit: RE TOUCH LAB

Source: RE TOUCH LAB.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *