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Haptics model for human fingertips based on Gaussian distribution

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Functionality and cosmetics are two concerns for future hand prosthesis development and they both can be improved by a combination with artificial soft materials which can mimic human skin. To bridge the gap between the human and artificial side, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the human skin’s biomechanics, especially the fingertip’s haptics-related mechanism. Available studies characterise the mechanical behaviour of human fingertip only by deterministic models based on either statistical data analysis or fingertip structure/viscoelasticity analysis. To take the force uncertainty into consideration, this paper proposes a novel probability-based haptics model, which includes two parts: a force prediction model to obtain the most possible contact force according to the indentation depth, and a probabilistic model based on Gaussian distribution to describe the force uncertainty. Experiments were conducted by pressing subjects’ index fingertips against a cone-shape probe with the measurement of the contact force and the indentation depth under a wide range of 0-5 mm. Four types of non-linear regression models and the Gaussian distribution model are applied for model training and validation. Experiment results reveal that the contact force varying with the indentation depth presents the characteristics of non-linearity, dispersion, and individual difference. Model testing results confirm the effectiveness of the haptics model on force prediction and force uncertainty description. An example of its application on a virtual hand of a rehabilitation system is demonstrated.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Intelligent & Fuzzy Systems
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 28 Oct 2018


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