Simulating Affective Touch: Using a Vibrotactile Array to Generate Pleasant Stroking Sensations
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- Huisman G., Frederiks A.D., van Erp J.B.F., Heylen D.K.J. (2016) Simulating Affective Touch: Using a Vibrotactile Array to Generate Pleasant Stroking Sensations. In: Bello F., Kajimoto H., Visell Y. (eds) Haptics: Perception, Devices, Control, and Applications. EuroHaptics 2016. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 9775. Springer, Cham
Gentle stroking touches are rated most pleasant when applied at a velocity of between 1–10 cm/s. Such touches are considered highly relevant in social interactions. Here, we investigate whether stroking sensations generated by a vibrotactile array can produce similar pleasantness responses, with the ultimate goal of using this type of haptic display in technology mediated social touch. A study was conducted in which participants received vibrotactile stroking stimuli of different velocities and intensities, applied to their lower arm. Results showed that the stimuli were perceived as continuous stroking sensations in a straight line. Furthermore, pleasantness ratings for low intensity vibrotactile stroking followed an inverted U-curve, similar to that found in research into actual stroking touches. The implications of these findings are discussed.