Classical works have described how touch therapy has been effective in the recovery and good appetite of children in hospitals. This paper proposes an affective tele-touch system prototype customized for therapeutic touches over the Internet. The affective contact area was designated to the posterior forearm surface where three stimuli were made available: vibration, warmth, and tickle. Affective tele-touches could be applied either with a sensory haptic device. We have conducted touch therapy experiments with this system to look at the experimental subjects’ recovery from video-induced sadness with heartbeat rates as the psycho-physiological measurement indicator. Our results show that a touch from a human hand or a tele-touch was able to reduce heartbeat rates of the participants after they watched a sad video clip.
Keywordsaffective tele-touch affective haptics touch therapy video-induced sadness wearable robotics
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