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Haptic interface using tendon electrical stimulation with consideration of multimodal presentation


2019, 1(2) : 163-175

Abstract (156) | PDF (25) | HTML (96)
Our previous studies have shown that electrical stimulation from the skin surface to the tendon region (Tendon Electrical Stimulation: TES) can elicit a force sensation, and adjusting the current parameters can control the amount of the sensation. TES is thought to present a proprioceptive force sensation by stimulating receptors or sensory nerves responsible for recognizing the magnitude of the muscle contraction existing inside the tendon, so it can be a proprioceptive module of a small-size, low-cost force feedback device. But there is also suspect that TES presents only strong, noisy skin sensation. From previous study, it was found that TES has some limitation on varying sensations.
In this study, in addition to characterizing the proprioceptive sensation induced by TES, we constructed a multimodal presentation system reproducing a situation in which force is applied to the hand was offered, so as to investigate whether TES contributed to the reproduction of haptics cooperating with other modalities, rather than disturbing them. Specifically, we used vibration to present a cutaneous sensation and a visual head mounted display (HMD) system to present simultaneous images. Using this system, we also evaluated the efficacy of TES itself and that of the multimodal system involving TES.
We found that TES, along with visual and vibration stimulation, contributed to the perception of a certain force.
Thus, TES appears to be an effective component of multimodal force sense presentation systems.