Object Shape and Surface Topology Recognition Using Tactile Feedback Evoked through Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation

Luis Vargas, He Huang, Yong Zhu, Xiaogang Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tactile feedback is critical for distinguishing different object properties. In this article, we determined if tactile feedback evoked by transcutaneous nerve stimulation can be used to detect objects of different shape and surface topology. To evoke tactile sensation at different fingers, a 2x8 electrode grid was placed along the subject's upper arm, and two concurrent electrical stimulation trains targeted the median and ulnar nerve bundles, which evoked individually modulated sensations at different fingers. Fingertip forces of the prosthetic hand were transformed to stimulation current amplitude. Object shape was encoded based on finger-object contact timing. Surface topology represented by ridge height and spacing was encoded through current amplitude and stimulation time interval, respectively. The elicited sensation allowed subjects to determine object shape with success rates >84%. Surface topology recognition resulted in success rates >81%. Our findings suggest that tactile feedback evoked from transcutaneous nerve stimulation allows the recognition of object shape and surface topology. The ability to recognize these properties may help improve object manipulation and promote fine control of a prosthetic hand.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8961131
Pages (from-to)152-158
Number of pages7
JournalIEEE Transactions on Haptics
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications

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