With the increasing need for tactile feedback in Human Computer Interfaces used in robotics, medical, and mobile devices, there has been an increasing interest in the design of tactile sensors, displays, and complete haptic systems to transfer tactile information to users. These systems have improved users ability to work with remote tools or virtual environments, from enhancing the accuracy of tools like robotic surgery to improving user experiences in virtual reality systems. Despite many advances, the potential of these technologies to provide augmented or realistic sensations of touch is limited in part by the lack of understanding the complex mechanisms involved in the human perception of touch. To improve the understanding of tactile physiology, this work begins the design of a biophysically accurate simulation model of the receptor cell responsive to high frequency vibration, the Pacinian corpuscle. This receptor plays a key role in the fine control of tools and is a common target for vibrotactile haptic displays. The model incorporates computational and theoretical principles of the Pacinian corpuscles biophysics, which have been developed in past studies, to simulate its electrical response to mechanical, thermal and electrical stimuli. The accuracy and flaws of the model are demonstrated through comparisons with published physiological data. Experiments are also proposed to show how the simulation model can be used to quantitatively compare the results of different tactile displays and different external environments in order to improve the design of modern haptic systems.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Pacinian bodies--Computer simulation; Haptic devices--Design and construction; Tactile sensors; Human-computer interaction
Department, Program, or Center
Computer Engineering (KGCOE)
Liu, Daniel, "Simulation model of Pacinian corpuscle for haptic system design" (2011). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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