TitleAn Integrated Approach to Characterize the Behavior of a Human Fingertip in Contact with a Silica Window
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsD'Angelo, ML, Cannella, F, Bianchi, M, D'Imperio, M, Battaglia, E, Poggiani, M, Rossi, G, Bicchi, A, Caldwell, DG
JournalIEEE Transactions on Haptics
Date Published01/2017
KeywordsHaptics, Robotics

Understanding the mechanisms of human tactual perception represents a challenging task in haptics and humanoid robotics. A classic approach to tackle this issue is to accurately and exhaustively characterize the mechanical behavior of human fingertip. The output of this characterization can then be exploited to drive the design of numerical models, which can be used to investigate in depth the mechanisms of human sensing. In this work, we present a novel integrated measurement technique and experimental set up for in vivo characterization of the deformation of the human fingertip at contact, in terms of contact area, force, deformation, and pressure distribution. The device presented here compresses the participant's fingertip against a flat surface, while the aforementioned measurements are acquired and experimental parameters such as velocity, finger orientation, and displacement (indentation) controlled. Experimental outcomes are then compared and integrated with the output of a 3D finite element (FE) model of the human fingertip, built upon existing validated models. The agreement between numerical and experimental data represents a validation for our approach.

Refereed DesignationRefereed