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Characterization of Tactile Perception and Optimal Exploration Movement

Abstract

The tactile sense is one of the most important senses humans process. In this study, the characterization of tactile perception and optimal exploration movement of skin were studied using an artificial finger, which is essential to the recognition of texture surfaces, the assessment of cosmetics and fabrics, and the development of intelligent robots. The vibration and friction signals during tactile perception were measured using the artificial finger and a tribometer. Eight characteristic features were extracted from the vibration and friction signals. A statistical analysis method associated with human subjective evaluation was used to compare the performance of the features in the characterization of the tactile perception. The results show that in the simulation of exploration movement using the artificial finger, the influence of exploration velocity on the tactile perception is greater than that of normal load. The sensitivity of tactile sensation is influenced by the exploration velocity. The optimal exploration velocity and normal load are approximately 10 mm/s and 1.5 N, respectively. A number of optimal features were selected. Spectral centroid, vertical deviations-1, and coefficient of friction were consistent with human tactile sensing and could characterize the perceived fineness, roughness, and slipperiness sensitively and accurately. The related mechanism was discussed.

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Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China 51205394, Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education 20120095120014, the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation funded project 2013T60572, the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities 2014QNA41, the International Postdoctoral Exchange Fellowship Program, and a project funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions. The authors acknowledge the SynTouch LLC for supporting the biomimetic finger.

Ethical standards

On behalf of, and having obtained permission from, all the authors, I declare that: the work described is the original research and none of the material attached has been published previously or is under consideration for publication elsewhere, in whole or in part; all authors have agreed to submit this paper to journal of “Tribology Letters.” There is no conflict of interest in the submission of this manuscript approved by all the authors listed; the research in the manuscript has been conducted under the guidance of international ethical standards. All relevant ethical safeguards have been met in relation to patient or subject protection, or animal experimentation. Financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China 51205394, Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education 20120095120014, the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation funded project 2013T60572, the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities 2014QNA41, the International Postdoctoral Exchange Fellowship Program, and a project funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions. I testify to the accuracy of the above on behalf of all the authors.

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Correspondence to Hua Zhu.

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Tang, W., Chen, N., Zhang, J. et al. Characterization of Tactile Perception and Optimal Exploration Movement. Tribol Lett 58, 28 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11249-015-0507-4

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Keywords

  • Tactile perception
  • Features
  • Exploration velocity
  • Exploration normal load