Haptic tactics: Allison Okamura

Allison Okamura and the CHARM lab at Stanford University focus on what the sense of touch can bring to robot-human interactions.

Clip: Digital clay

Programming compressed coffee grounds 

Clip: Haptic brain training

Tiny skin stretches help attune users to virtual environments

Haptic illusions

We are constantly interpreting skin-stretch sensations when interacting with the world--as friction and weight from objects and surfaces pull or push on the skin. This sensation can be used to trick the body’s tactile senses. For example, using small skin-stretching devices call "tactors," the skin on the hand can be fooled into sensing contact with an object. These small stretches can't completely replicate the feeling of holding a weighty object but can help make the experience of virtual environments more immersive.

Research

Visit the CHARM Lab to learn more

D. D. Damian et al., "Artificial Tactile Sensing of Position and Slip Speed by Exploiting Geometrical Features," IEEE 20, 263 (29 May 2014)

N. Colonnese et al., "Rendered and Characterized Closed-Loop Accuracy of Impedance-Type Haptic Displays," IEEE 8, 434 (17 July 2015)

N. Colonnese and A. M. Okamura, "M-Width: Stability, noise characterization, and accuracy of rendering virtual mass," IJRR 34 781 (16 March 2015)