Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 67

Search results for: tactile map

67 Influence of Tactile Symbol Size on Its Perceptibility in Consideration of Effect of Aging

Authors: T. Nishimura, K. Doi, H. Fujimoto, T. Wada

Abstract:

We conducted perception experiments on tactile symbols to elucidate the impact of the size of these letters on the level of perceptibility. This study was based on the accessible design perspective and aimed at expanding the availability of tactile symbols for the visually impaired who are unable to read Braille characters. In particular, this study targeted people with acquired visual impairments as users of the tactile symbols. The subjects (young and elderly individuals) in this study had normal vision. They were asked to participate in the experiments to identify tactile symbols while unable to see their hand during the experiments. This study investigated the relation between the size and perceptibility of tactile symbols based on an examination using test pieces of these letters in different sizes. The results revealed that the error rates for both young and elderly subjects converged to almost 0% when 12 mm size tactile symbols were used. The findings also showed that the error rate was low and subjects could identify the symbols in 5 s when 16 mm size tactile symbols were introduced.

Keywords: accessible design, tactile sense, tactile symbols, bioinformatic

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66 The Design of Smart Tactile Textiles for Therapeutic Applications

Authors: Karen Hong

Abstract:

Smart tactile textiles are a series of textile-based products that incorporates smart embedded technology to be utilized as tactile therapeutic applications for 2 main groups of target users. The first group of users will be children with sensory processing disorder who are suffering from tactile sensory dysfunction. Children with tactile sensory issues may have difficulty tolerating the sensations generated from the touch of certain textures on the fabrics. A series of smart tactile textiles, collectively known as ‘Tactile Toys’ are developed as tactile therapy play objects, exposing children to different types of touch sensations within textiles, enabling them to enjoy tactile experiences together with interactive play which will help them to overcome fear of certain touch sensations. The second group of users will be the elderly or geriatric patients who are suffering from deteriorating sense of touch. One of the common consequences of aging is suffering from deteriorating sense of touch and a decline in motoric function. With the focus in stimulating the sense of touch for this particular group of end users, another series of smart tactile textiles, collectively known as ‘Tactile Aids’ are developed also as tactile therapy. This range of products can help to maintain touch sensitivity and at the same time allowing the elderly to enjoy interactive play to practice their hand-eye coordination and enhancing their motor skills. These smart tactile textile products are being designed and tested out by the end users and have proofed their efficacy as tactile therapy enabling the users to lead a better quality of life.

Keywords: smart textiles, embedded technology, tactile therapy, tactile aids, tactile toys

Procedia PDF Downloads 91
65 Authoring Tactile Gestures: Case Study for Emotion Stimulation

Authors: Rodrigo Lentini, Beatrice Ionascu, Friederike A. Eyssel, Scandar Copti, Mohamad Eid

Abstract:

The haptic modality has brought a new dimension to human computer interaction by engaging the human sense of touch. However, designing appropriate haptic stimuli, and in particular tactile stimuli, for various applications is still challenging. To tackle this issue, we present an intuitive system that facilitates the authoring of tactile gestures for various applications. The system transforms a hand gesture into a tactile gesture that can be rendering using a home-made haptic jacket. A case study is presented to demonstrate the ability of the system to develop tactile gestures that are recognizable by human subjects. Four tactile gestures are identified and tested to intensify the following four emotional responses: high valence – high arousal, high valence – low arousal, low valence – high arousal, and low valence – low arousal. A usability study with 20 participants demonstrated high correlation between the selected tactile gestures and the intended emotional reaction. Results from this study can be used in a wide spectrum of applications ranging from gaming to interpersonal communication and multimodal simulations.

Keywords: tactile stimulation, tactile gesture, emotion reactions, arousal, valence

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64 Development of a Method to Prepare In-School Tactile Guide Maps for Visually Impaired School Children

Authors: K. Doi, T. Nishimura, M. Kawano, H. Fujimoto, Y. Tanaka, M. Sawada, S. Oouchi, T. Kaneko, K. Kanamori

Abstract:

As part of reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities in Japan, which has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, tactile guide maps are necessary. Such maps can enable visually impaired children to attend schools of special needs education (visual impairments) to grasp the arrangement of classrooms on their school campuses. However, it takes many years to be able to use a tactile guide map without difficulty. Thus, information support, in which audio information is added in addition to tactile information, is required. In the present research, a method to prepare an in-school tactile guide map with an additional audio reading function was developed. This map can enable visually impaired school children attending schools of special needs education (visual impairments) to grasp the arrangement of classrooms on their school campuses.

Keywords: accessible design, visually impaired, braille, tactile map, in-school tactile guide map

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63 Tactile Cues and Spatial Navigation in Mice

Authors: Rubaiyea Uddin

Abstract:

The hippocampus, located in the limbic system, is most commonly known for its role in memory and spatial navigation (as cited in Brain Reward and Pathways). It maintains an especially important role in specifically episodic and declarative memory. The hippocampus has also recently been linked to dopamine, the reward pathway’s primary neurotransmitter. Since research has found that dopamine also contributes to memory consolidation and hippocampal plasticity, this neurotransmitter is potentially responsible for contributing to the hippocampus’s role in memory formation. In this experiment we tested to see the effect of tactile cues on spatial navigation for eight different mice. We used a radial arm that had one designated 'reward' arm containing sucrose. The presence or absence of bedding was our tactile cue. We attempted to see if the memory of that cue would enhance the mice’s memory of having received the reward in that arm. The results from our study showed there was no significant response from the use of tactile cues on spatial navigation on our 129 mice. Tactile cues therefore do not influence spatial navigation.

Keywords: mice, radial arm maze, memory, spatial navigation, tactile cues, hippocampus, reward, sensory skills, Alzheimer’s, neurodegnerative disease

Procedia PDF Downloads 551
62 Evaluation Study of Easily Identification of Tactile Symbol on Body Soap Bottle

Authors: K. Doi, T. Nishimura, H. Fujimoto, Y. Hoshikawa, T. Wada

Abstract:

Japanese industrial standard (JIS) association established one JIS (JIS S 0021) regarding packaging accessible design for people with visual impairments and elderly people in 2000. Recently, tactile symbol on shampoo bottle has been known as one of package accessible design and more effectively used. However, it has been said that people with visual impairment have been not been in trouble with difficulty of identifying body soap bottle between three bottles such as body soap bottle, shampoo bottle, and conditioner bottle. Japanese low vision association asked JIS association to solve this problem. JIS association and Japan cosmetic industry association constituted one review team for solving the problem. The review team asked our research team to make a proposal regarding new tactile symbol on body soap bottle. We conducted user survey and maker survey regarding tactile symbol on body soap bottle with easily identification. Seven test tactile symbol marks were elected in our proposed tactile symbols. In this study, we evaluate easily identification of tactile symbol on body soap bottle. Six visual impaired subjects were participated in our experiment. These subjects were asked to identify body soap bottle between three bottles such as body soap bottle, shampoo bottle, and conditioner bottle. The test tactile symbol on body soap were presented in random order. The test tactile symbols were produced by use of our originally developed 3D raised equipment. From our study, test tactile symbol marks with easily identification were made a short list of our proposed tactile symbols. This knowledge will be helpful in revision of ISO 11156.

Keywords: tactile symbol, easily identification, body soap, people with visual impairments

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61 Linear Regression Estimation of Tactile Comfort for Denim Fabrics Based on In-Plane Shear Behavior

Authors: Nazli Uren, Ayse Okur

Abstract:

Tactile comfort of a textile product is an essential property and a major concern when it comes to customer perceptions and preferences. The subjective nature of comfort and the difficulties regarding the simulation of human hand sensory feelings make it hard to establish a well-accepted link between tactile comfort and objective evaluations. On the other hand, shear behavior of a fabric is a mechanical parameter which can be measured by various objective test methods. The principal aim of this study is to determine the tactile comfort of commercially available denim fabrics by subjective measurements, create a tactile score database for denim fabrics and investigate the relations between tactile comfort and shear behavior. In-plane shear behaviors of 17 different commercially available denim fabrics with a variety of raw material and weave structure were measured by a custom design shear frame and conventional bias extension method in two corresponding diagonal directions. Tactile comfort of denim fabrics was determined via subjective customer evaluations as well. Aforesaid relations were statistically investigated and introduced as regression equations. The analyses regarding the relations between tactile comfort and shear behavior showed that there are considerably high correlation coefficients. The suggested regression equations were likewise found out to be statistically significant. Accordingly, it was concluded that the tactile comfort of denim fabrics can be estimated with a high precision, based on the results of in-plane shear behavior measurements.

Keywords: denim fabrics, in-plane shear behavior, linear regression estimation, tactile comfort

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60 Exposure to Tactile Cues Does Not Influence Spatial Navigation in 129 S1/SvLm Mice

Authors: Rubaiyea Uddin, Rebecca Taylor, Emily Levesque

Abstract:

The hippocampus, located in the limbic system, is most commonly known for its role in memory and spatial navigation (as cited in Brain Reward and Pathways). It maintains an especially important role in specifically episodic and declarative memory. The hippocampus has also recently been linked to dopamine, the reward pathway’s primary neurotransmitter. Since research has found that dopamine also contributes to memory consolidation and hippocampal plasticity, this neurotransmitter is potentially responsible for contributing to the hippocampus’s role in memory formation. In this experiment we tested to see the effect of tactile cues on spatial navigation for eight different mice. We used a radial arm that had one designated “reward” arm containing sucrose. The presence or absence of bedding was our tactile cue. We attempted to see if the memory of that cue would enhance the mice’s memory of having received the reward in that arm. The results from our study showed there was no significant response from the use of tactile cues on spatial navigation on our 129 mice. Tactile cues therefore do not influence spatial navigation.

Keywords: mice, radial arm maze, memory, spatial navigation, tactile cues, hippocampus, reward, sensory skills, Alzheimer's, neuro-degenerative diseases

Procedia PDF Downloads 570
59 Teachers’ Perceptions on Communicating with Students Who Are Deaf-Blind in Regular Classes

Authors: Phillimon Mahanya

Abstract:

Learners with deaf-blindness use touch to communicate. However, teachers are not well versed with tactile communication technicalities. Lack of technical know-how is compounded with a lack of standardisation of the tactile signs the world over. Thus, this study arose from the need to have efficient and effective tactile sign communication for learners who are deaf-blind. A qualitative approach that adopted a case study design was used. A sample of 22 participants comprising school administrators and teachers was purposively drawn from the institutions that enrolled learners who are deaf-blind. Data generated using semi-structured interviews, non-participant observations and document analysis were thematically analysed. It emerged that administrators and teachers used mammoth and solo touches that are not standardised to communicate with learners who are deaf-blind. It was recommended that there should be a standardised tactile sign manual in Zimbabwe to promote the inclusion of learners who are deaf-blind.

Keywords: communication, deaf-blind, signing, tactile

Procedia PDF Downloads 105
58 Muscle: The Tactile Texture Designed for the Blind

Authors: Chantana Insra

Abstract:

The research objective focuses on creating a prototype media of the tactile texture of muscles for educational institutes to help visually impaired students learn massage extra learning materials further than the ordinary curriculum. This media is designed as an extra learning material. The population in this study was 30 blinded students between 4th - 6th grades who were able to read Braille language. The research was conducted during the second semester in 2012 at The Bangkok School for the Blind. The method in choosing the population in the study was purposive sampling. The methodology of the research includes collecting data related to visually impaired people, the production of the tactile texture media, human anatomy and Thai traditional massage from literature reviews and field studies. This information was used for analyzing and designing 14 tactile texture pictures presented to experts to evaluate and test the media.

Keywords: blind, tactile texture, muscle, visual arts and design

Procedia PDF Downloads 209
57 Basic Examination of Easily Distinguishable Tactile Symbols Attached to Containers and Packaging

Authors: T. Nishimura, K. Doi, H. Fujimoto, Y. Hoshikawa, T. Wada

Abstract:

In Japan, it is expected that reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities will progress further. In particular, there is an urgent need to enhance information support for visually impaired persons who have difficulty accessing information. Recently, tactile symbols have been attached to various surfaces, such as the content labels of containers and packaging of various everyday products. The advantage of tactile symbols is that they are useful for visually impaired persons who cannot read Braille. The method of displaying tactile symbols is prescribed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). However, the quantitative data on the shapes and dimensions of tactile symbols is insufficient. In this study, through an evaluation experiments, we examine the easy-to-distinguish shapes and dimensions of tactile symbols used for various applications, including the content labels on containers and packaging. Visually impaired persons participated in the experiments. They used tactile symbols on a daily basis. The details and processes of the experiments were orally explained to the participants prior to the experiments, and the informed consent of the participants was obtained. They were instructed to touch the test pieces of tactile symbols freely with both hands. These tactile symbols were selected because they were likely to be easily distinguishable symbols on the content labels of top surfaces of containers and packaging based on a hearing survey that involved employees of an organization of visually impaired and a social welfare corporation, as well as academic experts of support technology for visually impaired. The participants then answered questions related to ease of distinguishing of tactile symbols on a scale of 5 (where 1 corresponded to ‘difficult to distinguish’ and 5 corresponded to ‘easy to distinguish’). Hearing surveys were also performed in an oral free answer manner with the participants after the experiments. This study revealed the shapes and dimensions regarding easily distinguishable tactile symbols attached to containers and packaging. We expect that this knowledge contributes to improvement of the quality of life of visually impaired persons.

Keywords: visual impairment, accessible design, tactile symbol, containers and packaging

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56 Buddha Images in Mudras Representing Days of a Week: Tactile Texture Design for the Blind

Authors: Chantana Insra

Abstract:

The research “Buddha Images in Mudras Representing Days of a Week: Tactile Texture Design for the Blind” aims to provide original tactile format to institutions for the blind, as supplementary textbooks, to accumulate Buddhist knowledge, so that it could be extracurricular learning. The research studied on 33 students with both total and partial blindness, the latter with the ability to read Braille’s signs, of elementary 4 – 6, who are pursuing their studies on the second semester of the academic year 2013 at Bangkok School for the Blind. The researcher opted samples specifically, studied data acquired from both documents and fieldworks. Those methods must be related to the blind, tactile format production, and Buddha images in mudras representing days of a week. Afterwards, the formats will be analyzed and designed so that there would be 8 format pictures of Buddha images in mudras representing days of the week. Experts will next evaluate the media and try out.

Keywords: blind, tactile texture, Thai Buddha images, Mudras, texture design

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55 Vibro-Tactile Equalizer for Musical Energy-Valence Categorization

Authors: Dhanya Nair, Nicholas Mirchandani

Abstract:

Musical haptic systems can enhance a listener’s musical experience while providing an alternative platform for the hearing impaired to experience music. Current music tactile technologies focus on representing tactile metronomes to synchronize performers or encoding musical notes into distinguishable (albeit distracting) tactile patterns. There is growing interest in the development of musical haptic systems to augment the auditory experience, although the haptic-music relationship is still not well understood. This paper represents a tactile music interface that provides vibrations to multiple fingertips in synchronicity with auditory music. Like an audio equalizer, different frequency bands are filtered out, and the power in each frequency band is computed and converted to a corresponding vibrational strength. These vibrations are felt on different fingertips, each corresponding to a different frequency band. Songs with music from different spectrums, as classified by their energy and valence, were used to test the effectiveness of the system and to understand the relationship between music and tactile sensations. Three participants were trained on one song categorized as sad (low energy and low valence score) and one song categorized as happy (high energy and high valence score). They were trained both with and without auditory feedback (listening to the song while experiencing the tactile music on their fingertips and then experiencing the vibrations alone without the music). The participants were then tested on three songs from both categories, without any auditory feedback, and were asked to classify the tactile vibrations they felt into either category. The participants were blinded to the songs being tested and were not provided any feedback on the accuracy of their classification. These participants were able to classify the music with 100% accuracy. Although the songs tested were on two opposite spectrums (sad/happy), the preliminary results show the potential of utilizing a vibrotactile equalizer, like the one presented, for augmenting musical experience while furthering the current understanding of music tactile relationship.

Keywords: haptic music relationship, tactile equalizer, tactile music, vibrations and mood

Procedia PDF Downloads 70
54 Roughness Discrimination Using Bioinspired Tactile Sensors

Authors: Zhengkun Yi

Abstract:

Surface texture discrimination using artificial tactile sensors has attracted increasing attentions in the past decade as it can endow technical and robot systems with a key missing ability. However, as a major component of texture, roughness has rarely been explored. This paper presents an approach for tactile surface roughness discrimination, which includes two parts: (1) design and fabrication of a bioinspired artificial fingertip, and (2) tactile signal processing for tactile surface roughness discrimination. The bioinspired fingertip is comprised of two polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) layers, a polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) bar, and two perpendicular polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) film sensors. This artificial fingertip mimics human fingertips in three aspects: (1) Elastic properties of epidermis and dermis in human skin are replicated by the two PDMS layers with different stiffness, (2) The PMMA bar serves the role analogous to that of a bone, and (3) PVDF film sensors emulate Meissner’s corpuscles in terms of both location and response to the vibratory stimuli. Various extracted features and classification algorithms including support vector machines (SVM) and k-nearest neighbors (kNN) are examined for tactile surface roughness discrimination. Eight standard rough surfaces with roughness values (Ra) of 50 μm, 25 μm, 12.5 μm, 6.3 μm 3.2 μm, 1.6 μm, 0.8 μm, and 0.4 μm are explored. The highest classification accuracy of (82.6 ± 10.8) % can be achieved using solely one PVDF film sensor with kNN (k = 9) classifier and the standard deviation feature.

Keywords: bioinspired fingertip, classifier, feature extraction, roughness discrimination

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53 Development of Sound Tactile Interface by Use of Human Sensation of Stiffness

Authors: K. Doi, T. Nishimura, M. Umeda

Abstract:

There are very few sound interfaces that both healthy people and hearing handicapped people can use to play together. In this study, we developed a sound tactile interface that makes use of the human sensation of stiffness. The interface comprises eight elastic objects having varying degrees of stiffness. Each elastic object is shaped like a column. When people with and without hearing disabilities press each elastic object, different sounds are produced depending on the stiffness of the elastic object. The types of sounds used were “Do Re Mi sounds.” The interface has a major advantage in that people with or without hearing disabilities can play with it. We found that users were able to recognize the hardness sensation and relate it to the corresponding Do Re Mi sounds.

Keywords: tactile sense, sound interface, stiffness perception, elastic object

Procedia PDF Downloads 216
52 Effectiveness of Visual Auditory Kinesthetic Tactile Technique on Reading Level among Dyslexic Children in Helikx Open School and Learning Centre, Salem

Authors: J. Mano Ranjini

Abstract:

Each and every child is special, born with a unique talent to explore this world. The word Dyslexia is derived from the Greek language in which “dys” meaning poor or inadequate and “lexis” meaning words or language. Dyslexia describes about a different kind of mind, which is often gifted and productive, that learns the concept differently. The main aim of the study is to bring the positive outcome of the reading level by examining the effectiveness of Visual Auditory Kinesthetic Tactile technique on Reading Level among Dyslexic Children at Helikx Open School and Learning Centre. A Quasi experimental one group pretest post test design was adopted for this study. The Reading Level was assessed by using the Schonell Graded Word Reading Test. Thirty subjects were drawn by using purposive sampling technique and the intervention Visual Auditory Kinesthetic Tactile technique was implemented to the Dyslexic Children for 30 consecutive days followed by the post Reading Level assessment revealed the improvement in the mean score value of reading level by 12%. Multi-sensory (VAKT) teaching uses all learning pathways in the brain (visual, auditory, kinesthetic-tactile) in order to enhance memory and learning and the ability in uplifting emotional, physical and societal dimensions. VAKT is an effective method to improve the reading skill of the Dyslexic Children that ensures the enormous significance of learning thereby influencing the wholesome of the child’s life.

Keywords: visual auditory kinesthetic tactile technique, reading level, dyslexic children, Helikx Open School

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51 Design and Fabrication of Piezoelectric Tactile Sensor by Deposition of PVDF-TrFE with Spin-Coating Method for Minimally Invasive Surgery

Authors: Saman Namvarrechi, Armin A. Dormeny, Javad Dargahi, Mojtaba Kahrizi

Abstract:

Since last two decades, minimally invasive surgery (MIS) has grown significantly due to its advantages compared to the traditional open surgery like less physical pain, faster recovery time and better healing condition around incision regions; however, one of the important challenges in MIS is getting an effective sensing feedback within the patient’s body during operations. Therefore, surgeons need efficient tactile sensing like determining the hardness of contact tissue for investigating the patient’s health condition. In such a case, MIS tactile sensors are preferred to be able to provide force/pressure sensing, force position, lump detection, and softness sensing. Among different pressure sensor technologies, the piezoelectric operating principle is the fittest for MIS’s instruments, such as catheters. Using PVDF with its copolymer, TrFE, as a piezoelectric material, is a common method of design and fabrication of a tactile sensor due to its ease of implantation and biocompatibility. In this research, PVDF-TrFE polymer is deposited via spin-coating method and treated with various post-deposition processes to investigate its piezoelectricity and amount of electroactive β phase. These processes include different post thermal annealing, the effect of spin-coating speed, different layer of deposition, and the presence of additional hydrate salt. According to FTIR spectroscopy and SEM images, the amount of the β phase and porosity of each sample is determined. In addition, the optimum experimental study is established by considering every aspect of the fabrication process. This study clearly shows the effective way of deposition and fabrication of a tactile PVDF-TrFE based sensor and an enhancement methodology to have a higher β phase and piezoelectric constant in order to have a better sense of touch at the end effector of biomedical devices.

Keywords: β phase, minimally invasive surgery, piezoelectricity, PVDF-TrFE, tactile sensor

Procedia PDF Downloads 51
50 Perception of Tactile Stimuli in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Kseniya Gladun

Abstract:

Tactile stimulation of a dorsal side of the wrist can have a strong impact on our attitude toward physical objects such as pleasant and unpleasant impact. This study explored different aspects of tactile perception to investigate atypical touch sensitivity in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study included 40 children with ASD and 40 healthy children aged 5 to 9 years. We recorded rsEEG (sampling rate of 250 Hz) during 20 min using EEG amplifier “Encephalan” (Medicom MTD, Taganrog, Russian Federation) with 19 AgCl electrodes placed according to the International 10–20 System. The electrodes placed on the left, and right mastoids served as joint references under unipolar montage. The registration of EEG v19 assignments was carried out: frontal (Fp1-Fp2; F3-F4), temporal anterior (T3-T4), temporal posterior (T5-T6), parietal (P3-P4), occipital (O1-O2). Subjects were passively touched by 4 types of tactile stimuli on the left wrist. Our stimuli were presented with a velocity of about 3–5 cm per sec. The stimuli materials and procedure were chosen for being the most "pleasant," "rough," "prickly" and "recognizable". Type of tactile stimulation: Soft cosmetic brush - "pleasant" , Rough shoe brush - "rough", Wartenberg pin wheel roller - "prickly", and the cognitive tactile stimulation included letters by finger (most of the patient’s name ) "recognizable". To designate the moments of the stimuli onset-offset, we marked the moment when the moment of the touch began and ended; the stimulation was manual, and synchronization was not precise enough for event-related measures. EEG epochs were cleaned from eye movements by ICA-based algorithm in EEGLAB plugin for MatLab 7.11.0 (Mathwork Inc.). Muscle artifacts were cut out by manual data inspection. The response to tactile stimuli was significantly different in the group of children with ASD and healthy children, which was also depended on type of tactile stimuli and the severity of ASD. Amplitude of Alpha rhythm increased in parietal region to response for only pleasant stimulus, for another type of stimulus ("rough," "thorny", "recognizable") distinction of amplitude was not observed. Correlation dimension D2 was higher in healthy children compared to children with ASD (main effect ANOVA). In ASD group D2 was lower for pleasant and unpleasant compared to the background in the right parietal area. Hilbert transform changes in the frequency of the theta rhythm found only for a rough tactile stimulation compared with healthy participants only in the right parietal area. Children with autism spectrum disorders and healthy children were responded to tactile stimulation differently with specific frequency distribution alpha and theta band in the right parietal area. Thus, our data supports the hypothesis that rsEEG may serve as a sensitive index of altered neural activity caused by ASD. Children with autism have difficulty in distinguishing the emotional stimuli ("pleasant," "rough," "prickly" and "recognizable").

Keywords: autism, tactile stimulation, Hilbert transform, pediatric electroencephalography

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49 Flexible Capacitive Sensors Based on Paper Sheets

Authors: Mojtaba Farzaneh, Majid Baghaei Nejad

Abstract:

This article proposes a new Flexible Capacitive Tactile Sensors based on paper sheets. This method combines the parameters of sensor's material and dielectric, and forms a new model of flexible capacitive sensors. The present article tries to present a practical explanation of this method's application and advantages. With the use of this new method, it is possible to make a more flexibility and accurate sensor in comparison with the current models. To assess the performance of this model, the common capacitive sensor is simulated and the proposed model of this article and one of the existing models are assessed. The results of this article indicate that the proposed model of this article can enhance the speed and accuracy of tactile sensor and has less error in comparison with the current models. Based on the results of this study, it can be claimed that in comparison with the current models, the proposed model of this article is capable of representing more flexibility and more accurate output parameters for touching the sensor, especially in abnormal situations and uneven surfaces, and increases accuracy and practicality.

Keywords: capacitive sensor, paper sheets, flexible, tactile, uneven

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48 Hardware Implementation for the Contact Force Reconstruction in Tactile Sensor Arrays

Authors: María-Luisa Pinto-Salamanca, Wilson-Javier Pérez-Holguín

Abstract:

Reconstruction of contact forces is a fundamental technique for analyzing the properties of a touched object and is essential for regulating the grip force in slip control loops. This is based on the processing of the distribution, intensity, and direction of the forces during the capture of the sensors. Currently, efficient hardware alternatives have been used more frequently in different fields of application, allowing the implementation of computationally complex algorithms, as is the case with tactile signal processing. The use of hardware for smart tactile sensing systems is a research area that promises to improve the processing time and portability requirements of applications such as artificial skin and robotics, among others. The literature review shows that hardware implementations are present today in almost all stages of smart tactile detection systems except in the force reconstruction process, a stage in which they have been less applied. This work presents a hardware implementation of a model-driven reported in the literature for the contact force reconstruction of flat and rigid tactile sensor arrays from normal stress data. From the analysis of a software implementation of such a model, this implementation proposes the parallelization of tasks that facilitate the execution of matrix operations and a two-dimensional optimization function to obtain a vector force by each taxel in the array. This work seeks to take advantage of the parallel hardware characteristics of Field Programmable Gate Arrays, FPGAs, and the possibility of applying appropriate techniques for algorithms parallelization using as a guide the rules of generalization, efficiency, and scalability in the tactile decoding process and considering the low latency, low power consumption, and real-time execution as the main parameters of design. The results show a maximum estimation error of 32% in the tangential forces and 22% in the normal forces with respect to the simulation by the Finite Element Modeling (FEM) technique of Hertzian and non-Hertzian contact events, over sensor arrays of 10×10 taxels of different sizes. The hardware implementation was carried out on an MPSoC XCZU9EG-2FFVB1156 platform of Xilinx® that allows the reconstruction of force vectors following a scalable approach, from the information captured by means of tactile sensor arrays composed of up to 48 × 48 taxels that use various transduction technologies. The proposed implementation demonstrates a reduction in estimation time of x / 180 compared to software implementations. Despite the relatively high values of the estimation errors, the information provided by this implementation on the tangential and normal tractions and the triaxial reconstruction of forces allows to adequately reconstruct the tactile properties of the touched object, which are similar to those obtained in the software implementation and in the two FEM simulations taken as reference. Although errors could be reduced, the proposed implementation is useful for decoding contact forces for portable tactile sensing systems, thus helping to expand electronic skin applications in robotic and biomedical contexts.

Keywords: contact forces reconstruction, forces estimation, tactile sensor array, hardware implementation

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47 Tactile Sensory Digit Feedback for Cochlear Implant Electrode Insertion

Authors: Yusuf Bulale, Mark Prince, Geoff Tansley, Peter Brett

Abstract:

Cochlear Implantation (CI) which became a routine procedure for the last decades is an electronic device that provides a sense of sound for patients who are severely and profoundly deaf. Today, cochlear implantation technology uses electrode array (EA) implanted manually into the cochlea. The optimal success of this implantation depends on the electrode technology and deep insertion techniques. However, this manual insertion procedure may cause mechanical trauma which can lead to a severe destruction of the delicate intracochlear structure. Accordingly, future improvement of the cochlear electrode implant insertion needs reduction of the excessive force application during the cochlear implantation which causes tissue damage and trauma. This study is examined tool-tissue interaction of large prototype scale digit embedded with distributive tactile sensor based upon cochlear electrode and large prototype scale cochlea phantom for simulating the human cochlear which could lead to small-scale digit requirements. The digit, distributive tactile sensors embedded with silicon-substrate was inserted into the cochlea phantom to measure any digit/phantom interaction and position of the digit in order to minimize tissue and trauma damage during the electrode cochlear insertion. The digit has provided tactile information from the digit-phantom insertion interaction such as contact status, tip penetration, obstacles, relative shape and location, contact orientation and multiple contacts. The tests demonstrated that even devices of such a relative simple design with low cost have a potential to improve cochlear implant surgery and other lumen mapping applications by providing tactile sensory feedback information and thus controlling the insertion through sensing and control of the tip of the implant during the insertion. In that approach, the surgeon could minimize the tissue damage and potential damage to the delicate structures within the cochlear caused by current manual electrode insertion of the cochlear implantation. This approach also can be applied to other minimally invasive surgery applications as well as diagnosis and path navigation procedures.

Keywords: cochlear electrode insertion, distributive tactile sensory feedback information, flexible digit, minimally invasive surgery, tool/tissue interaction

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46 Attention and Memory in the Music Learning Process in Individuals with Visual Impairments

Authors: Lana Burmistrova

Abstract:

Introduction: The influence of visual impairments on several cognitive processes used in the music learning process is an increasingly important area in special education and cognitive musicology. Many children have several visual impairments due to the refractive errors and irreversible inhibitors. However, based on the compensatory neuroplasticity and functional reorganization, congenitally blind (CB) and early blind (EB) individuals use several areas of the occipital lobe to perceive and process auditory and tactile information. CB individuals have greater memory capacity, memory reliability, and less false memory mechanisms are used while executing several tasks, they have better working memory (WM) and short-term memory (STM). Blind individuals use several strategies while executing tactile and working memory n-back tasks: verbalization strategy (mental recall), tactile strategy (tactile recall) and combined strategies. Methods and design: The aim of the pilot study was to substantiate similar tendencies while executing attention, memory and combined auditory tasks in blind and sighted individuals constructed for this study, and to investigate attention, memory and combined mechanisms used in the music learning process. For this study eight (n=8) blind and eight (n=8) sighted individuals aged 13-20 were chosen. All respondents had more than five years music performance and music learning experience. In the attention task, all respondents had to identify pitch changes in tonal and randomized melodic pairs. The memory task was based on the mismatch negativity (MMN) proportion theory: 80 percent standard (not changed) and 20 percent deviant (changed) stimuli (sequences). Every sequence was named (na-na, ra-ra, za-za) and several items (pencil, spoon, tealight) were assigned for each sequence. Respondents had to recall the sequences, to associate them with the item and to detect possible changes. While executing the combined task, all respondents had to focus attention on the pitch changes and had to detect and describe these during the recall. Results and conclusion: The results support specific features in CB and EB, and similarities between late blind (LB) and sighted individuals. While executing attention and memory tasks, it was possible to observe the tendency in CB and EB by using more precise execution tactics and usage of more advanced periodic memory, while focusing on auditory and tactile stimuli. While executing memory and combined tasks, CB and EB individuals used passive working memory to recall standard sequences, active working memory to recall deviant sequences and combined strategies. Based on the observation results, assessment of blind respondents and recording specifics, following attention and memory correlations were identified: reflective attention and STM, reflective attention and periodic memory, auditory attention and WM, tactile attention and WM, auditory tactile attention and STM. The results and the summary of findings highlight the attention and memory features used in the music learning process in the context of blindness, and the tendency of the several attention and memory types correlated based on the task, strategy and individual features.

Keywords: attention, blindness, memory, music learning, strategy

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45 A Study of the Tactile Codification on the Philippine Banknote: Redesigning for the Blind

Authors: Ace Mari S. Simbajon, Rhaella J. Ybañez, Mae G. Nadela, Cherry E. Sagun, Nera Mae A. Puyo

Abstract:

This study determined the usability of the Philippine banknotes. An experimental design was used in the study involving twenty (n=20) randomly selected blind participants. The three aspects of usability were measured: effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction. It was found out that the effectiveness rate of the current Philippine Banknotes ranges from 20 percent to 35 percent which means it is not effective basing from Cauro’s threshold of average effectiveness rate which is 78 percent. Its efficiency rate is ranging from 18.06 to 26.22 seconds per denomination. The average satisfaction rate is 1.45 which means the blind are very dissatisfied. These results were used as a guide in making the proposed tactile codification using embossed dots or embossed lines. A round of simulation was conducted with the blind to assess the usability of the two proposals. Results were then statistically treated using t-test. Results show statistically significant difference between the usability of the current banknotes versus the proposed designs. Moreover, it was found out that the use of embossed dots is more effective, more efficient, and more satisfying than the embossed lines with an effectiveness rate ranging from 90 percent to 100 percent, efficiency rate ranging from 6.73 seconds to 12.99 seconds, and satisfaction rate of 3.4 which means the blind are very satisfied.

Keywords: blind, Philippine banknotes, tactile codification, usability

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44 Investigation of Contact Pressure Distribution at Expanded Polystyrene Geofoam Interfaces Using Tactile Sensors

Authors: Chen Liu, Dawit Negussey

Abstract:

EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) geofoam as light-weight material in geotechnical applications are made of pre-expanded resin beads that form fused cellular micro-structures. The strength and deformation properties of geofoam blocks are determined by unconfined compression of small test samples between rigid loading plates. Applied loads are presumed to be supported uniformly over the entire mating end areas. Predictions of field performance on the basis of such laboratory tests widely over-estimate actual post-construction settlements and exaggerate predictions of long-term creep deformations. This investigation examined the development of contact pressures at a large number of discrete points at low and large strain levels for different densities of geofoam. Development of pressure patterns for fine and coarse interface material textures as well as for molding skin and hot wire cut geofoam surfaces were examined. The lab testing showed that I-Scan tactile sensors are useful for detailed observation of contact pressures at a large number of discrete points simultaneously. At low strain level (1%), the lower density EPS block presents low variations in localized stress distribution compared to higher density EPS. At high strain level (10%), the dense geofoam reached the sensor cut-off limit. The imprint and pressure patterns for different interface textures can be distinguished with tactile sensing. The pressure sensing system can be used in many fields with real-time pressure detection. The research findings provide a better understanding of EPS geofoam behavior for improvement of design methods and performance prediction of critical infrastructures, which will be anticipated to guide future improvements in design and rapid construction of critical transportation infrastructures with geofoam in geotechnical applications.

Keywords: geofoam, pressure distribution, tactile pressure sensors, interface

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43 Examining the Design of a Scaled Audio Tactile Model for Enhancing Interpretation of Visually Impaired Visitors in Heritage Sites

Authors: A. Kavita Murugkar, B. Anurag Kashyap

Abstract:

With the Rights for Persons with Disabilities Act (RPWD Act) 2016, the Indian government has made it mandatory for all establishments, including Heritage Sites, to be accessible for People with Disabilities. However, recent access audit surveys done under the Accessible India Campaign by Ministry of Culture indicate that there are very few accessibility measures provided in the Heritage sites for people with disabilities. Though there are some measures for the mobility impaired, surveys brought out that there are almost no provisions for people with vision impairment (PwVI) in heritage sites thus depriving them of a reasonable physical & intellectual access that facilitates an enjoyable experience and enriching interpretation of the Heritage Site. There is a growing need to develop multisensory interpretative tools that can help the PwVI in perceiving heritage sites in the absence of vision. The purpose of this research was to examine the usability of an audio-tactile model as a haptic and sound-based strategy for augmenting the perception and experience of PwVI in a heritage site. The first phase of the project was a multi-stage phenomenological experimental study with visually impaired users to investigate the design parameters for developing an audio-tactile model for PwVI. The findings from this phase included user preferences related to the physical design of the model such as the size, scale, materials, details, etc., and the information that it will carry such as braille, audio output, tactile text, etc. This was followed by the second phase in which a working prototype of an audio-tactile model is designed and developed for a heritage site based on the findings from the first phase of the study. A nationally listed heritage site from the author’s city was selected for making the model. The model was lastly tested by visually impaired users for final refinements and validation. The prototype developed empowers People with Vision Impairment to navigate independently in heritage sites. Such a model if installed in every heritage site, can serve as a technological guide for the Person with Vision Impairment, giving information of the architecture, details, planning & scale of the buildings, the entrances, location of important features, lifts, staircases, and available, accessible facilities. The model was constructed using 3D modeling and digital printing technology. Though designed for the Indian context, this assistive technology for the blind can be explored for wider applications across the globe. Such an accessible solution can change the otherwise “incomplete’’ perception of the disabled visitor, in this case, a visually impaired visitor and augment the quality of their experience in heritage sites.

Keywords: accessibility, architectural perception, audio tactile model , inclusive heritage, multi-sensory perception, visual impairment, visitor experience

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42 Cost-Effective Mechatronic Gaming Device for Post-Stroke Hand Rehabilitation

Authors: A. Raj Kumar, S. Bilaloglu

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Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability worldwide. We depend on our hands for our activities of daily living(ADL). Although many patients regain the ability to walk, they continue to experience long-term hand motor impairments. As the number of individuals with young stroke is increasing, there is a critical need for effective approaches for rehabilitation of hand function post-stroke. Motor relearning for dexterity requires task-specific kinesthetic, tactile and visual feedback. However, when a stroke results in both sensory and motor impairment, it becomes difficult to ascertain when and what type of sensory substitutions can facilitate motor relearning. In an ideal situation, real-time task-specific data on the ability to learn and data-driven feedback to assist such learning will greatly assist rehabilitation for dexterity. We have found that kinesthetic and tactile information from the unaffected hand can assist patients re-learn the use of optimal fingertip forces during a grasp and lift task. Measurement of fingertip grip force (GF), load forces (LF), their corresponding rates (GFR and LFR), and other metrics can be used to gauge the impairment level and progress during learning. Currently ATI mini force-torque sensors are used in research settings to measure and compute the LF, GF, and their rates while grasping objects of different weights and textures. Use of the ATI sensor is cost prohibitive for deployment in clinical or at-home rehabilitation. A cost effective mechatronic device is developed to quantify GF, LF, and their rates for stroke rehabilitation purposes using off-the-shelf components such as load cells, flexi-force sensors, and an Arduino UNO microcontroller. A salient feature of the device is its integration with an interactive gaming environment to render a highly engaging user experience. This paper elaborates the integration of kinesthetic and tactile sensing through computation of LF, GF and their corresponding rates in real time, information processing, and interactive interfacing through augmented reality for visual feedback.

Keywords: feedback, gaming, kinesthetic, rehabilitation, tactile

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41 Hydrotherapy with Dual Sensory Impairment (Dsi)-Deaf and Blind

Authors: M. Warburton

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Background: Case study examining hydrotherapy for a person with DSI. A 46 year-old lady completely deaf and blind post congenital rubella syndrome. Touch becomes the primary information gathering sense to optimise function in life. Communication is achieved via tactile finger spelling and signals onto her hand and skin. Hydrotherapy may provide a suitable mobility environment and somato-sensory input to people, and especially DSI persons. Buoyancy, warmth, hydrostatic pressure, viscosity and turbulence are elements of hydrotherapy that may offer a DSI person somato-sensory input to stimulate the mechanoreceptors, thermoreceptors and proprioceptors and offer a unique hydro-therapeutic environment. Purpose: The purpose of this case study was to establish what measurable benefits could be achieved from hydrotherapy with a DSI person. Methods: Hydrotherapy was provided for 8-weeks, 2 x week, 35-minute session duration. Pool temperature 32.5 degrees centigrade. Pool length 25-metres. Each session consisted of mobility encouragement and supervision, and activities to stimulate the somato-sensory system utilising aquatic properties of buoyancy, turbulence, viscosity, warmth and hydrostatic pressure. Somato-sensory activities focused on stimulating touch and tactile exploration including objects of various shape, size, weight, contour, texture, elasticity, pliability, softness and hardness. Outcomes were measured by the Goal Attainment Scale (GAS) and included mobility distance, attendance, and timed tactile responsiveness to varying objects. Results: Mobility distance and attendance exceeded baseline expectations. Timed tactile responsiveness to varying objects also changed positively from baseline. Average scale scores were 1.00 with an overall GAS t-score of 63.69. Conclusions: Hydrotherapy can be a quantifiable physio-therapeutic option for persons with DSI. It provides a relatively safe environment for mobility and allows the somato-sensory system to be fully engaged - important for the DSI population. Implications: Hydrotherapy can be a measurable therapeutic option for a DSI person. Physiotherapists should consider hydrotherapy for DSI people. Hydrotherapy can offer unique physical properties for the DSI population not available on land.

Keywords: chronic, disability, disease, rehabilitation

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40 Wearable Interface for Telepresence in Robotics

Authors: Uriel Martinez-Hernandez, Luke W. Boorman, Hamideh Kerdegari, Tony J. Prescott

Abstract:

In this paper, we present architecture for the study of telepresence, immersion and human-robot interaction. The architecture is built around a wearable interface, developed here, that provides the human with visual, audio and tactile feedback from a remote location. We have chosen to interface the system with the iCub humanoid robot, as it mimics many human sensory modalities, such as vision, with gaze control and tactile feedback. This allows for a straightforward integration of multiple sensory modalities, but also offers a more complete immersion experience for the human. These systems are integrated, controlled and synchronised by an architecture developed for telepresence and human-robot interaction. Our wearable interface allows human participants to observe and explore a remote location, while also being able to communicate verbally with humans located in the remote environment. Our approach has been tested from local, domestic and business venues, using wired, wireless and Internet based connections. This has involved the implementation of data compression to maintain data quality to improve the immersion experience. Initial testing has shown the wearable interface to be robust. The system will endow humans with the ability to explore and interact with other humans at remote locations using multiple sensing modalities.

Keywords: telepresence, telerobotics, human-robot interaction, virtual reality

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39 Assessment of Post-surgical Donor-Site Morbidity in Vastus lateralis Free Flap for Head and Neck Reconstructive Surgery: An Observational Study

Authors: Ishith Seth, Lyndel Hewitt, Takako Yabe, James Wykes, Jonathan Clark, Bruce Ashford

Abstract:

Background: Vastus lateralis (VL) can be used to reconstruct defects of the head and neck. Whilst the advantages are documented, donor-site morbidity is not well described. This study aimed to assess donor-site morbidity after VL flap harvest. The results will determine future directions for preventative and post-operative care to improve patient health outcomes. Methods: Ten participants (mean age 55 years) were assessed for the presence of donor-site morbidity after VL harvest. Musculoskeletal (pain, muscle strength, muscle length, tactile sensation), quality of life (SF-12), and lower limb function (lower extremity function, gait (function and speed), sit to stand were assessed using validated and standardized procedures. Outcomes were compared to age-matched healthy reference values or the non-operative side. Analyses were conducted using descriptive statistics and non-parametric tests. Results: There was no difference in muscle strength (knee extension), muscle length, ability to sit-to-stand, or gait function (all P > 0.05). Knee flexor muscle strength was significantly less on the operated leg compared to the non-operated leg (P=0.02) and walking speed was slower than age-matched healthy values (P<0.001). Thigh tactile sensation was impaired in 89% of participants. Quality of life was significantly less for the physical health component of the SF-12 (P<0.001). The mental health component of the SF-12 was similar to healthy controls (P=0.26). Conclusion: There was no effect on donor site morbidity with regards to knee extensor strength, pain, walking function, ability to sit-to-stand, and muscle length. VL harvest affected donor-site knee flexion strength, walking speed, tactile sensation, and physical health-related quality of life.

Keywords: vastus lateralis, morbidity, head and neck, surgery, donor-site morbidity

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38 A Study on the Effect of Design Factors of Slim Keyboard’s Tactile Feedback

Authors: Kai-Chieh Lin, Chih-Fu Wu, Hsiang Ling Hsu, Yung-Hsiang Tu, Chia-Chen Wu

Abstract:

With the rapid development of computer technology, the design of computers and keyboards moves towards a trend of slimness. The change of mobile input devices directly influences users’ behavior. Although multi-touch applications allow entering texts through a virtual keyboard, the performance, feedback, and comfortableness of the technology is inferior to traditional keyboard, and while manufacturers launch mobile touch keyboards and projection keyboards, the performance has not been satisfying. Therefore, this study discussed the design factors of slim pressure-sensitive keyboards. The factors were evaluated with an objective (accuracy and speed) and a subjective evaluation (operability, recognition, feedback, and difficulty) depending on the shape (circle, rectangle, and L-shaped), thickness (flat, 3mm, and 6mm), and force (35±10g, 60±10g, and 85±10g) of the keyboard. Moreover, MANOVA and Taguchi methods (regarding signal-to-noise ratios) were conducted to find the optimal level of each design factor. The research participants, by their typing speed (30 words/ minute), were divided in two groups. Considering the multitude of variables and levels, the experiments were implemented using the fractional factorial design. A representative model of the research samples were established for input task testing. The findings of this study showed that participants with low typing speed primarily relied on vision to recognize the keys, and those with high typing speed relied on tactile feedback that was affected by the thickness and force of the keys. In the objective and subjective evaluation, a combination of keyboard design factors that might result in higher performance and satisfaction was identified (L-shaped, 3mm, and 60±10g) as the optimal combination. The learning curve was analyzed to make a comparison with a traditional standard keyboard to investigate the influence of user experience on keyboard operation. The research results indicated the optimal combination provided input performance to inferior to a standard keyboard. The results could serve as a reference for the development of related products in industry and for applying comprehensively to touch devices and input interfaces which are interacted with people.

Keywords: input performance, mobile device, slim keyboard, tactile feedback

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