Vibrotactile haptic feedback for intuitive control of robotic extra fingers

Irfan Hussain, Leonardo Meli, Claudio Pacchierotti, Gionata Salvietti, Domenico Prattichizzo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Wearable robots have been mostly designed as exoskeletons, with segments and joints corresponding to those of the person they are coupled with. Exoskeletons are mainly employed to augment human body force and precision capabilities, or for rehabilitation purposes. More recently, new wearable robots resembling additional robotic limbs have been developed thanks to the progress in miniaturization and efficiency of mechanical and sensing components. However, wearable robotic extra limbs presented in the literature lack of effective haptic feedback systems. In this paper, we present a robotic extra finger coupled with a vibrotactile ring interface. The human user is able to control the motion of the robotic finger through a switch placed on the ring, while being provided with vibrotactile feedback about the forces exerted by the robotic finger on the environment. To understand how to control the vibrotactile interface to evoke the most effective cutaneous sensations, we executed perceptual experiments to evaluate its absolute and differential thresholds. We also carried out a pick-and-place experiment with ten subjects. Haptic feedback significantly improved the performance in task execution in terms of completion time, exerted force, and perceived effectiveness. All subjects preferred experimental conditions employing haptic feedback with respect to those not providing any force feedback.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publicationIEEE World Haptics Conference, WHC 2015
EditorsJ. Edward Colgate, Hong Z. Tan, Hong Z. Tan, Seungmoon Choi, Gregory J. Gerling
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781479966240
StatePublished - 4 Aug 2015
Event10th IEEE World Haptics Conference, WHC 2015 - Evanston, United States
Duration: 22 Jun 201526 Jun 2015

Publication series

NameIEEE World Haptics Conference, WHC 2015


Conference10th IEEE World Haptics Conference, WHC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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