Intelligent Skin-integrated Haptic Interface with Multiple Feedback Modes

Project: Research

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Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR & AR) provide simulated experience to users that allow users feel visual, auditory, or even tactile information virtually, and thus can be used in diverse fields such as entertainment, training and medical applications. The current VR & AR technologies mainly rely on 3D glasses with auditory functions, however, tactile sensation as one of the most important sensations is a field far unexplored. Skin is the largest organ of human body, that can provide sensations from touch, to temperature, to pain and to vibration. The development of tactile sensations exhibits significant meanings in both academic and industry, where haptic interface is the key to provide tactile sensations to human body. Wearable technologies enable electronic devices interfacing with human body to collect health related physiological signals for continuous healthcare monitoring. While providing feedback to these wearable devices have attracted people’s attention as which can provide tactile sensations in a portable way. Furthermore, only direct interaction between the haptic interface and skin can mimic the real tactile sensations. There are two major limitations in current wearable haptic interface. First, most of the current haptic interfaces are not a real “wearable”, as whose feedback devices are wearable, but the operation systems still require big machines, such as pumps and boxy control panels in pneumatic systems to provide force. Second, the current haptic interfaces only offer very limited tactile sensations. For instance, users can only feel simple vibration or temperature changes from the current feedback technologies. While the physical sensation of our skin is very comprehensive that need multiple modes feedback system from the synergy sensations of force, temperature and fine texture. Therefore, developing an intelligent haptic interface with multiple modes feedback in a thin, soft, wireless and wearable format is the key issue.Here, we propose a new concept of electronic skin haptic interface with multiple modes feedback based on the materials and devices for realizing thin, soft, wearable and wireless electronics that will incorporate soft actuators and stretchable circuits. Such multiple modes haptic interface will adopt multiple-channel actuators, including force based, temperature based and nerve stimulation based technologies to directly interface with skin to provide comprehensive tactile sensations. Therefore, such electronic skin haptic interface with multiple modes feedback can be applied in a broad range of applications, ranging from fundamental research of tactile sensations with wearable electronics, to VR & AR training/entertainments, to interaction with medical robots for medical procedures and many others. 


Project number9043353
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/10/22 → …