Human Position Guidance Using Vibrotactile Feedback Stimulation Based on Phantom-Sensation


Conference proceedings talk at 2019 IEEE International Conference on Cyborg and Bionic Systems (CBS), Munich, Germany

This presentation was based on a peer-reviewed paper, which can be found here

Paper Abstract
In this paper, we propose a novel method to guide a person around space using continuous vibrotactile feedback on the wrist. Different from previous research, we use the Phantom Sensation illusion to produce “virtual” cues in places where there is no physical vibrotactile actuator. This allows us to produce a vibration at any place of the skin around the wrist. Users are requested to follow the produced cues in order to move around space by moving towards the direction signaled by the cue (“pull” mapping). We also propose using the vibration amplitude in order to represent the proximity to the goal. Through experiments, we evidenced that users were able to reach arbitrary positions around space solely guided by the vibrotactile cues. Each user performed the task both with and without the proximity information. Although we did not observe a significant difference in the performance, we discuss the trade-offs about mapping the proximity to the vibration amplitude. We think this method can be applied for intelligent indoor navigation or group coordination, and we hope to expand the concept further to simultaneously guide multiple people moving at higher speed, such as team sports coaching.