Spatially Separating Haptic Guidance From Task Dynamics Through Wearable Devices

IEEE Trans Haptics. 2019 Oct-Dec;12(4):581-593. doi: 10.1109/TOH.2019.2919281. Epub 2019 May 27.


Haptic devices have a high potential for delivering tailored training to novices. These devices can simulate forces associated with real-world tasks, or provide guidance forces that convey task completion and learning strategies. It has been shown, however, that providing both task forces and guidance forces simultaneously through the same haptic interface can lead to novices depending on guidance, being unable to demonstrate skill transfer, or learning the wrong task altogether. This paper presents a novel solution whereby task forces are relayed via a kinesthetic haptic interface, while guidance forces are spatially separated through a cutaneous skin stretch modality. We explore different methods of delivering cutaneous based guidance to subjects in a dynamic trajectory following task. We next compare cutaneous guidance to kinesthetic guidance, as is traditional to spatially separated assistance. We further investigate the role of placing cutaneous guidance ipsilateral versus contralateral to the task force device. The efficacies of each guidance condition are compared by examining subject error and movement smoothness. Results show that cutaneous guidance can be as effective as kinesthetic guidance, making it a practical and cost-effective alternative for spatially separated assistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Feedback, Sensory / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Learning / physiology*
  • Motor Skills / physiology
  • Touch / physiology*
  • Touch Perception / physiology*
  • Wearable Electronic Devices*