We present a novel device mounted on the fingertip for acquiring and transmitting visual information through haptic channels. In contrast to previous systems in which the user interrogates an intermediate representation of visual information, such as a tactile display representing a camera generated image, our device uses a fingertipmounted camera and haptic stimulator to allow the user to “feel” visual features directly from the environment. Visual features ranging from simple intensity or oriented edges to more complex information identified automatically about objects in the environment may be translated in this manner into haptic stimulation of the finger. Experiments using an initial prototype to trace a continuous straight edge have quantified the user’s ability to discriminate the angle of the edge, a potentially useful feature for higher levels analysis of the visual scene.
See complete bios of the authors in the full version of this article.
Ms. Horvath is a doctoral candidate at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interests are in medical device design and medical image analysis, with a focus on computer vision and optical engineering.
Dr. Galeotti is a Senior Project Scientist in Robotics and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests are in both biomedical optics and biomedical image analysis and visualization, especially for intraoperative guidance.
Dr. Wu is an Assistant Professor in Arizona State University’s College of Technology & Innovation. His research interests are in spatial perception/cognition, the visual and haptic control of action, and human factors issues in real, teleoperated, or simulated medical operations.
Dr. Klatzky is Professor of Psychology and Human Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interests are in human perception and cognition, with special emphasis on spatial cognition and haptic perception.
Dr. Siegel is a faculty member in Robotics and an affiliated faculty member in Human Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests are in sensing, sensors, perception, and display systems in robotics contexts.
Dr. Stetten is Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh and Research Professor at the CMU Robotics Institute. His research is in image guided intervention, haptics, and image analysis.