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The Perception of Ultrasonic Square Reductions of Friction With Variable Sharpness and Duration




The human perception of square ultrasonic modulation of the finger-surface friction was investigated during active tactile exploration by using short frictional cues of varying duration and sharpness. In a first experiment, we asked participants to discriminate the transition time and duration of short square ultrasonic reductions of friction. They proved very sensitive to discriminate millisecond differences in these two parameters with the average psychophysical thresholds being 2.3–2.4 ms for both parameters. A second experiment focused on the perception of square friction reductions with variable transition times and durations. We found that for durations of the stimulation larger than 90 ms, participants often perceived three or four edges when only two stimulations were presented while they consistently felt two edges for signals shorter than 50 ms. A subsequent analysis of the contact forces induced by these ultrasonic stimulations during slow and fast active exploration showed that two identical consecutive ultrasonic pulses can induce significantly different frictional dynamics especially during fast motion of the finger. These results confirm the human sensitivity to transient frictional cues and suggest that the human perception of square reductions of friction can depend on their sharpness and duration as well as on the speed of exploration.

Author(s): David Gueorguiev and Eric Vezzoli and Thomas Sednaoui and Laurent Grisoni and Betty Lemaire-Semail
Journal: IEEE Transactions on Haptics
Volume: 12
Number (issue): 2
Pages: 179--188
Year: 2019
Month: January

Department(s): Haptic Intelligence
Bibtex Type: Article (article)
Paper Type: Journal

DOI: 10.1109/TOH.2019.2894412
State: Published


  title = {The Perception of Ultrasonic Square Reductions of Friction With Variable Sharpness and Duration},
  author = {Gueorguiev, David and Vezzoli, Eric and Sednaoui, Thomas and Grisoni, Laurent and Lemaire-Semail, Betty},
  journal = {IEEE Transactions on Haptics},
  volume = {12},
  number = {2},
  pages = {179--188},
  month = jan,
  year = {2019},
  month_numeric = {1}