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Sensory Substitution using
Custom-Made Robotic Systems

Skin Stretch Feedback of Proprioceptive Information to the Forearm

Jan - May 2007, March 2009 - Present

Johns Hopkins University, Haptics Laboratory

Skin Stretch Mechanism

I mentored an undergraduate student, David Chow, in creating a skin stretch device prototype to test the possibly of slightly stretching the skin to feed back the proprioceptive information. The device contacts the skin at two locations and rotates to stretch the skin. For future work, this device could be improved through decreased size and better adherence to the skin. Currently, I am using the skin stretch developed in Mark Cutkosky's lab to determine its feasibility in providing proprioceptive motion feedback information during a stiffness discrimination task.

Sensory Feedback through Vibrations to the Torso

Jun - Aug 2008, Jul 2008, Sep 2009 - Present

Neuromorphic Engineering Workshop, Telluride, Colorado

Vibratory Feedback to Torso

With the help of fellow researchers, an undergraduate student, and graduate students, I have investigated numerous systems for providing sensory feedback to the torso. One system uses a tactor array place around the torso to relay color information. This system successfully conveyed color. The second system is a tactor array that uses sensory saltation cues (aka cutaneous rabbit illusion, where a small number of locations on the body are vibrated, and the person perceives a greater number of locations being touched) to convey proprioceptive information. The sensory cues were too difficult to intuitively use. The last system is a tactor array used to convey proprioceptive information through defined vibratory sequences. I am still working with graduate students on this last system. (PDF) YouTube Video Demonstration

Vibratory Feedback to the Foot

May 2006 - Jun 2009, Aug 2008 - Present

Johns Hopkins University, Haptics Laboratory

Vibratory Feedback to Torso

With the assistance of undergraduate and graduate students, I worked on two systems. In the first, we designed an experimental setup and ran a human subjects study to investigate the possibility of providing upper-limb prosthesis users tactile feedback, by displaying vibrations to the foot. Results indicate that vibration feedback to the foot enables environment discrimination comparable to that of the fingertip. In the second, we are currently finalizing the experiment design and system to quantify the feasibility of relaying sensory information to a person's toes. (PDF)