Surface haptic rendering of virtual shapes through change in surface temperature. Academic Article uri icon


  • Compared to relatively mature audio and video human-machine interfaces, providing accurate and immersive touch sensation remains a challenge owing to the substantial mechanical and neurophysical complexity of touch. Touch sensations during relative lateral motion between a skin-screen interface are largely dictated by interfacial friction, so controlling interfacial friction has the potential for realistic mimicry of surface texture, shape, and material composition. In this work, we show a large modulation of finger friction by locally changing surface temperature. Experiments showed that finger friction can be increased by ~50% with a surface temperature increase from 23 to 42C, which was attributed to the temperature dependence of the viscoelasticity and the moisture level of human skin. Rendering virtual features, including zoning and bump(s), without thermal perception was further demonstrated with surface temperature modulation. This method of modulating finger friction has potential applications in gaming, virtual and augmented reality, and touchscreen human-machine interaction.

published proceedings

  • Sci Robot

altmetric score

  • 106.33

author list (cited authors)

  • Choi, C., Ma, Y., Li, X., Chatterjee, S., Sequeira, S., Friesen, R. F., Felts, J. R., & Hipwell, M. C.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Choi, Changhyun||Ma, Yuan||Li, Xinyi||Chatterjee, Sitangshu||Sequeira, Sneha||Friesen, Rebecca F||Felts, Jonathan R||Hipwell, M Cynthia

publication date

  • January 2022