Haptics (from Greek haptos, to touch) is the combination of

Kinesthesis, Taction, and Efference Copy.

These may in turn have sub-senses (heat, vibration, pressure for Taction, for example).

Reaction times:

Visual: .15 sec

Auditory: .12 sec

Tactile: .10 sec


How do you know where your hand is? Kinesthesis

Sense of muscle "tone," and position/motion from the feedback we get from the nerves in our muscles.

How do you know where your eye is going to look? Efference Copy

Copy of efferent motor eye control signal to visual input system. This allows us to move our eyes and not be surprised when the visual image shifts. Importantly, allows us to do eye saccades without getting sick. And is the reason we feel sick when our visual system gets "out of sync."

How do we feel texture? Pressure? Pain?

Different cells for different stimuli

What's necessary to display/feel texture/profile?

Margaret Minsky's work in haptic texture synthesis

Force-reflecting teleoperation (GE in the '60s):

...tapes...and belts...





Virtual haptics in the '90s:

Massie's Phantom Ruspini's Cat

Some recent products:

Virtex gloves

Intuitive Surgical

Sensable Technologies

Immersion andLogitech

The Haptics Community Photo Gallery