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Laboratory for Human and Machine Haptics

Welcome to the Laboratory for Human and Machine Haptics, less formally known as the Touch Lab, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Touch Lab was founded by Dr. Mandayam A. Srinivasan in 1990. We are an interdisciplinary group of researchers interested in haptics -- the study of sensing and manipulation through touch. We use a variety of methods to look for the general principles that humans and machines use to explore, represent, and interact with objects. The goals of our research are to understand human haptics, develop machine haptics, and enhance human-machine interactions in virtual reality and teleoperator systems. To gain a deeper understanding of human haptics, multidisciplinary investigations involving skin biomechanics, neurophysiology, psychophysics, motor control, and computational models are employed. Typical projects involve the measurement of human capabilities in specified manual tasks employing computer-controlled electromechanical devices, and the determination of the biomechanical, neural and perceptual mechanisms that underlie performance in these tasks. To develop haptic machines that enable the user to touch and feel virtual reality, electromechanical devices and rendering software are designed, and studies on the human perception of computer-generated virtual objects under purely haptic and multisensory conditions are conducted. The results of this research are also beneficial to hand therapy, intelligent prosthesis design, and the development of autonomous robots that need to perform human-like functions in unstructured environments.

 

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Last Updated: February 24, 2005 6:33 PM Comments: David Schloerb