Tactile exploratory strategies with natural soft fruit
Perception of naturalistic and ecological softness
August 27, 2020
Chang Xu, Hankun He, Steven C. Hauser, and Gregory J. Gerling
When interacting with deformable objects, tactile cues at the finger pad help inform our perception of material compliance. Nearly all prior studies have relied on highly homogeneous, engineered materials such as silicone-elastomers and foams. In contrast, we employ soft fruit varying in ripeness; ecological substances associated with tasks of everyday life. In this work, we investigate volitional exploratory strategies and contact interactions with natural soft objects, for comparison to engineered materials.
The newly defined metric of virtual stiffness can differentiate between the fruits’ ripeness, amidst their local variations in geometry, stiffness, and viscoelasticity.
New techniques and designs for experimenting with ecologically soft objects
Virtual stiffness cues may encode the naturalistic softness by integrating force, displacement, and exploratory strategies
Compliance cannot be discriminated solely by applying touch force or fingertip displacement. In contrast, virtual stiffness could optimally afford discrimination between soft fruit, independent of the touch force, amidst overlapped fingertip displacement.
Xu, C., He, H., Hauser, S.C., and Gerling, G.J., Tactile exploration strategies with natural compliant objects elicit virtual stiffness cues [DOI][PDF]. IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 2020.
Xu, C., He, H., Hauser, S.C., and Gerling, G.J., Measurement of touch interaction cues in discriminating soft fruit [PDF]. IEEE World Haptics Conference, 2019.
Xu, C., Hauser, S.C., Wang, Y., and Gerling, G.J., Roles of force cues and proprioceptive joint angles in active exploration of compliant objects [DOI][PDF]. IEEE World Haptics Conference, 2019.
Gregory J. Gerling
Professor, Systems Engineering
151 Engineer's Way Charlottesville, Virginia 22904 Phone: 434-924-0533