Sep 182013


Our sense of touch is clearly more acute than many realize.

A new study demystifies the “unknown sense” with first-ever measurements of human tactile perception.

In a ground-breaking study, Swedish scientists have shown that people can detect nano-scale wrinkles while running their fingers upon a seemingly smooth surface. The findings could lead such advances as touch screens for the visually impaired and other products, says one of the researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

The study marks the first time that scientists have quantified how people feel, in terms of a physical property. One of the authors, Mark Rutland, Professor of Surface Chemistry, says that the human finger can discriminate between surfaces patterned with ridges as small as 13 nanometres in amplitude and non-patterned surfaces.

“This means that, if your finger was the size of the Earth, you could feel the difference between houses from cars,” Rutland says. “That is one of the most enjoyable aspects of this research. We discovered that a human being can feel a bump corresponding to the size of a very large molecule.”

The research team consisted of Rutland and KTH PhD student Lisa Skedung, and psychologist Birgitta Berglund and PhD student Martin Arvidsson from Stockholm Universiy.  Their paper,  Feeling Small: Exploring the Tactile Perception Limits, was published on September 12 in Scientific Reports. The research was financed by a grant from Vinnova and the Knowledge Foundation to the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden. Rutland says that the project will pursue applications of the research together with SP.

The study highlights the importance of surface friction and wrinkle wavelength, or wrinkle width – in the tactile perception of fine textures.

When a finger is drawn over a surface, vibrations occur in the finger. People feel these vibrations differently on different structures. The friction properties of the surface control how hard we press on the surface as we explore it. A high friction surface requires us to press less to achieve the optimum friction force.

“This is the breakthrough that allows us to design how things feel and are perceived,” he says. “It allows, for example, for a certain portion of a touch screen on a smartphone to be designed to feel differently by vibration.”

The research could inform the development of the sense of touch in robotics and virtual reality. A plastic touch screen surface could be made to feel like another material, such as fabric or wood, for example. The findings also enable differentiation in product packaging, or in the products themselves. A shampoo, for example, can be designed to change the feel of one’s hair.

Read more . . .


The Latest on: Human tactile perception
  • Get some flava-ful art at Flava Fresh XIV
    on October 19, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    Diverse creatives and artwork breed a wide variety of perception, insight and opinion ... preoccupation lead to her giving life to organic forms by adding human elements. Her pieces are saturated with color and reverie, so very beautiful to view. […]

  • This faux skin gives robots a sense of touch
    on October 18, 2017 at 1:00 am

    Unlike existing methods for giving a robot or prosthetic a sense of touch, which is usually limited to one aspect of touch, this faux skin is able to provide tactile perception across ... to one side just like the human finger does and the sensors that ... […]

  • Chris Packham reveals the reality of living with Asperger’s – and his “romantic plan” to be reunited with his dogs after he dies
    on October 17, 2017 at 6:04 am

    I have lots of books, but I don’t like seeing their spines because my visual perception is hugely sensitive ... being overpowered by visual, auditory or tactile stimuli; and having restricted or repetitive patterns of behaviour. The cause isn’t ... […]

  • When will smartphones be intelligent?
    on October 14, 2017 at 2:25 am

    Artificial intelligence can potentially evolve much more quickly than human intelligence and therefore find solutions ... Pro offers huge amounts of customization with programmable tactile hardware-based controls. What’s more, every user may have ... […]

  • What Are Sensory Processing Disorders and How Are They Assessed?
    on October 13, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Sensory processing is a function of the human brain we begin to experience even before ... This assessment, designed for children ages 4-8, evaluates the visual, tactile and kinesthetic perception of a child as well as their motor skills. […]

  • Frozen Gloves, Socks Reduce CIPN in Patients With Breast Cancer
    on October 12, 2017 at 6:10 am

    "The primary end point was the incidence of CIPN (any grade), defined as a decline in tactile sensation from the pretreatment ... also detected in several secondary endpoints. For example, perception of warmth was reduced in only 8.8% of treated hands ... […]

  • After Dark: Agave, Perception, and Collisions
    on October 11, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Note: The Tactile Dome and some programs have limited capacity and ... Pick a card, any card, and watch the Explainers reveal some surprising aspects of human perception. […]

  • 25 women in robotics you need to know about – 2017
    on October 10, 2017 at 1:00 am

    Her research focuses on perception for autonomous robotic manipulation and grasping ... intelligent environments, prosthetics, tactile sensors and artificial skin. Original Shakey Team at SRI InternationalHelen Chan Wolf joined the SRI AI Group in 1966 ... […]

  • Immersion and Perception Collaborate to Bring Haptics to Human Machine Interfaces, Content
    on September 7, 2017 at 1:30 am

    and Perception, a New York-based firm specializing in conceptual human machine interface design and visualizations, today announced their collaboration to bring high-quality tactile effects to human machine interfaces and content experiences. The team at ... […]

via Google News and Bing News

Other Interesting Posts

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: