Skip to Main Content
Tactile motion guidance systems aim to direct the user's movement toward a target pose or trajectory by delivering tactile cues through lightweight wearable actuators. This study evaluates 10 forms of tactile feedback for guidance of wrist rotation to understand the traits that influence the effectiveness of such systems. We present five wearable actuators capable of tapping, dragging across, squeezing, twisting, or vibrating against the user's wrist; each actuator can be controlled via steady or pulsing drive algorithms. Ten subjects used each form of feedback to perform three unsighted movement tasks: directional response, position targeting, and trajectory following. The results show that directional responses are fastest when direction is conveyed through the location of the tactile stimulus or steady lateral skin stretch. Feedback that clearly conveys movement direction enables subjects to reach target positions most quickly, though tactile magnitude cues (steady intensity and especially pulsing frequency) can also be used when direction is difficult to discern. Subjects closely tracked arbitrary trajectories only when both movement direction and cue magnitude were subjectively rated as very easy to discern. The best overall performance was achieved by the actuator that repeatedly taps on the subject's wrist on the side toward which they should turn.
Date of Publication: Third Quarter 2012