Faculty: Prof. Dr. Cagatay Basdogan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Haptics for interactive touch surfaces, also known as surface haptics, is a new area of research in the field of haptics. The goal of surface haptics is to generate tactile effects on touch surfaces such as those used in mobile phones, tablets, kiosks and information displays, and front panels of new generation home appliances and cars. The integration of haptics into touch surfaces will result in new applications in user interface design, online shopping, gaming and entertainment, education, arts, and more. Currently, one of the most promising techniques to generate tactile effects on a touch surface is electrostatic actuation. When an alternating voltage is applied to the conductive layer of a capacitive touch screen, an attractive electrostatic force is generated in the normal direction between the finger and the surface. By controlling the amplitude, frequency, and waveform of the input voltage, the frictional force between the sliding finger and the touch screen can be modulated. In this context, one important aim is to render realistic virtual textures on touch screens (see the figure below). Texture information on touch screens would improve the user experience in daily activities. For example, feeling the simulated texture of a jean before purchasing it from the Internet would certainly be more motivating for online shoppers. Despite the current advances in hardware, tactile rendering algorithms have yet to reach the realism necessary to simulate a wide range of textures due to variations in their a) physical attributes (e.g. roughness, kurtosis, skewness, etc.), b) psychological attributes (e.g. fine, course, smooth, sticky, etc.) and c) affective attributes (e.g. cool, wavy, granular, repetitive, elegant, etc.). The post-doctoral fellow is expected to design experiments to collect data from real textured surfaces and develop machine/deep learning algorithms to generate their virtual counterparts by establishing the links between those attributes. She/he is expected to have research experience in human-computer interaction, surface haptics, texture modeling, and rendering, and machine/deep learning with a background in CS, EE, or ME.
Grooves and ridges of a real grating can be rendered as high and low friction regimes in the corresponding virtual grating, respectively. Finger penetrates into the real grating but not the virtual grating since the grating height cannot be rendered explicitly by electro vibration since it modulates the tangential friction force only.
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