Purdue University Graduate School
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Utilizing Haptic Interfaces for Information Transmission and Emotional Effect: Two Studies

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posted on 2021-07-23, 15:32 authored by Gina Marie ClepperGina Marie Clepper
Haptic interfaces possess great potential for both transmitting information and affecting emotion. I present two studies exploring these two applications.

The first study investigates the ability to selectively attend to certain tactile stimuli while ignoring others. Understanding this ability is necessary when designing vibrotactile displays that present multiple simultaneous signals for information transmission. Participants in this study wore a tactile display on each arm. They were trained to identify nine stimuli varying in location and frequency and tested on stimulus identification under various conditions, depending on whether one or both arms were stimulated and whether one or both arms were attended to. The results provide empirical evidence for selective attention of vibrotactile stimuli and indicate that participants can selectively attend to three locations and two frequencies with high accuracy.

The second study explores whether haptics can enhance the perceived immersiveness, novelty, and creepiness of a haunted house. Vibrotactile stimuli inspired by natural phenomena were presented to the user’s palm, and concealed actuators rattled the user’s chair. Séance-themed audio and visuals provided narrative context. In a post-experience questionnaire, nineteen of twenty-two participants reported that haptic effects increased their sense of immersion. A follow-up experiment was conducted to compare the impact of using multiple, distinct haptic stimuli as opposed to repeating a single,
multiplex stimulus. The results demonstrate both the influence of context on stimulus interpretation, as well as the unique payoffs when stimuli are tailored for a particular context.


NRI: INT: FIngers See Things Differently (FIST-D): A Robotic Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) based on Augmented Tactile Imaging

Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering

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Degree Type

  • Master of Science


  • Electrical and Computer Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Hong Z. Tan

Additional Committee Member 2

Alexander J. Quinn

Additional Committee Member 3

Juan P. Wachs