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Statistical Modelling of Fingertip Deformations and Contact Forces during Tactile Interaction




Little is known about the shape and properties of the human finger during haptic interaction, even though these are essential parameters for controlling wearable finger devices and deliver realistic tactile feedback. This study explores a framework for four-dimensional scanning (3D over time) and modelling of finger-surface interactions, aiming to capture the motion and deformations of the entire finger with high resolution while simultaneously recording the interfacial forces at the contact. Preliminary results show that when the fingertip is actively pressing a rigid surface, it undergoes lateral expansion and proximal/distal bending, deformations that cannot be captured by imaging of the contact area alone. Therefore, we are currently capturing a dataset that will enable us to create a statistical model of the finger’s deformations and predict the contact forces induced by tactile interaction with objects. This technique could improve current methods for tactile rendering in wearable haptic devices, which rely on general physical modelling of the skin’s compliance, by developing an accurate model of the variations in finger properties across the human population. The availability of such a model will also enable a more realistic simulation of virtual finger behaviour in virtual reality (VR) environments, as well as the ability to accurately model a specific user’s finger from lower resolution data. It may also be relevant for inferring the physical properties of the underlying tissue from observing the surface mesh deformations, as previously shown for body tissues.

Author(s): David Gueorguiev and Dimitrios Tzionas and Claudio Pacchierotti and Michael J. Black and Katherine J. Kuchenbecker
Year: 2018
Month: August

Department(s): Haptic Intelligence
Research Project(s): Modeling Hand Deformations During Contact
Bibtex Type: Miscellaneous (misc)
Paper Type: Abstract

Address: Ascona, Switzerland
How Published: Extended abstract presented at the Hand, Brain and Technology conference (HBT)
State: Published


  title = {Statistical Modelling of Fingertip Deformations and Contact Forces during Tactile Interaction},
  author = {Gueorguiev, David and Tzionas, Dimitrios and Pacchierotti, Claudio and Black, Michael J. and Kuchenbecker, Katherine J.},
  howpublished = {Extended abstract presented at the Hand, Brain and Technology conference (HBT)},
  address = {Ascona, Switzerland},
  month = aug,
  year = {2018},
  month_numeric = {8}