Methodology for Maximizing Information Transmission of Haptic Devices: A Survey

Proceedings of the IEEE


This is a survey article on the information transmission capability of haptic devices and ways of maximizing it. It is intended for readers who are engineering professionals interested in developing novel haptic interfaces for a variety of applications but are not necessarily trained in haptic science or human user research. We posit that the ultimate goal of any interface is the exchange of information between a machine and a user, and as such, the evaluation should involve estimating the information-transmission capability with human users. We conducted a literature survey on studies of haptic devices evaluated with human users using an information theoretic framework. Our goal was to discover and summarize best practices that can lead to high information transmission. The results confirmed findings from our own previous studies, uncovered new ways to effectively increase information transmission, and pointed to the need for broader dissemination of proper experimental methodology. We, therefore, present a concise yet comprehensive tutorial on psychophysical methodology for estimating information transfer (IT) and IT rate with humans, survey results on the typical IT achievable with haptic devices, and guidelines for maximizing information transmission with any human–machine interfaces. Although we focus on haptic systems, the information-theoretic framework, the psychophysical methods, and the guidelines presented in this article are applicable to other sensory modalities and multimodal interface systems also.

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