Tactile Emotions: A Vibrotactile Tactile Gamepad for Transmitting Emotional Messages to Children with Autism
This paper presents an innovative vibrotactile gamepad used as complementary therapeutic aids for transmitting emotional messages to children with autism. The gamepad includes eight electromagnetic actuators embedded in the gamepad shell to provide distributed tactile feedback. The location of the actuators was defined by measuring the contact zones of the hand and the gamepad with a number of users. Actuators are designed to cover the 0-500 Hz bandwidth with a 0.5 N maximum force. The integrated gamepad was submitted to two user evaluations: one (13 users) to define the tactile patterns needed for control and the second (9 users) to test the acceptability and the usefulness of the device for the enhancement of emotional competences of children with autism. Encouraging results are shown.
KeywordsHaptics Tactile stimulation Vibrotactile gamepad Electromagnetic actuators Autism Sensory and Touch therapy Serious game
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