Pneumatically Controlled Wearable Tactile Actuator for Multi-Modal Haptic Feedback

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This paper introduces a wearable pneumatic actuator, designed for providing multiple types of tactile feedback using a single end-effector. To this end, the actuator combines a 3D-printed framework consisting of five 0.5 DOF soft silicon air cells with a pneumatic system to deliver a range of tactile sensations through a single end-effector. The actuator is capable of producing diverse haptic feedback, including vibration, pressure, impact, and lateral force, controlled by an array of solenoid valves. The design’s focus on multimodality in a compact and lightweight form factor makes it highly suitable for wearable applications. It can produce a maximum static force of 8.3 N, vibrations with an acceleration of up to 3.15 g, and lateral forces of up to 3.3 N. The efficacy of the actuator is demonstrated through two distinct user studies: one focusing on perception, where users differentiated between lateral cues and vibration frequencies, and another within a first-person shooter gaming scenario, revealing enhanced user engagement and experience. The actuator’s adaptability to body sites and rich multimodal haptic feedback enables it to find applications in virtual reality, gaming, training simulations, and more.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Access
Pages (from-to)59485-59499
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

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    Research areas

  • Actuators, End effectors, Force, haptic actuator, Haptic interfaces, Multimodal tactile feedback, Pneumatic, Pressure, Tactile sensors, Vibrations, Vibrotactile, Wrist

ID: 388351701