Wearable haptics (hRing) and wearable robotics (the robotic sixth finger) demo got the Best Demo Award at the Haptics Symposium in Philadelphia #haptics 2016

It is a honor for me to announce that we, the #sirslab won the pretigious Best Demonstration Award of the 2016 IEEE Haptic Symposium in Philadelphia. The demonstration has the title “The hRing as a Wearable Haptic Interface for Extra Robotic Fingers” by Giovanni Spagnoletti, Irfani Hussein, Claudio Pacchierotti, Gionata Salvietti and Domenico Prattichizzo. Congratulation folks !!!! Keep growing !!!

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Transactions on Haptics Citations for Meritorious Service to Claudio Pacchierotti

Each year, the IEEE Transactions on Haptics cites one Associate Editor and three reviewers for meritorious service. These are people who have gone well beyond the call of duty, and who have given generously of their time and talent not only to help ToH select the best papers possible, but to help authors write the best papers possible.

The 2015 citations include one member of our lab, Claudio Pacchierotti, for his service as a Reviewer.

https://www.computer.org/web/toh/meritorious

Congratulations!

Paper “Haptic assistive bracelets for blind skier guidance” accepted and presented at Augmented Human 2016

Blindness dramatically limits quality of life of individuals and has profound implications for the person affected and the society as a whole. Physical mobility and exercises are strongly spurred within people, as ways to maintain health and well-being.
We introduce a novel use of haptic feedback in this context. In particular, the skier can receive directional information through two vibrating bracelets worn on both the forearms. At the same time, the instructor can take advantage of his instrumented ski pole to pass information to the skier. The communication through haptic cues has been proven to be processed faster by the brain, demanding a less cognitive effort with respect to the auditory level.

device

The visually impaired is provided with a pair of vibrotactile bracelets, and a mobile computing device, e.g., a smartphone. The instructor is provided with a pair of augmented ski poles, embedding two additional electronic devices. Each augmenting device is composed of a microcontroller, a wireless communication antenna, a battery for powering the electronics, and a switch. Each pole is connected wireless with the mobile computing devices worn by the blind skier. Pressing the switch mounted on the left/right poles triggers a signal, with the aim to activate the left/right vibrating bracelet worn by the blind skier. This triggering signal is directly sent through the wireless communication to the mobile computing device on the blind skier, whose maximum distance from the ski instructor must be lower than 10 m, being this a confident functioning distance for the wireless communication. Once the mobile computing device has received a triggering signal, it activated the corresponding vibrotactile bracelet. The bracelet keep vibrating until the instructor press again the button. This solution allows the instructor to regulate the length of the haptic stimulus.

Conference Website: http://www.augmented-human.com
 

PDF

M. Aggravi, G. Salvietti, D. Prattichizzo
“Haptic assistive bracelets for blind skier guidance”
Proceedings of the 7th Augmented Human International Conference 2016, ACM, 2016.
DOI: 10.1145/2875194.2875249

Our new Soft-SixthFinger published in Robotics and Automation Letters and presented @Augmented-Human Conference

The paper on Robotics and Automation Letters presents the Soft-SixthFinger, a wearable robotic extra-finger designed to be used by chronic stroke patients to compensate for the missing hand function of their paretic limb. The extra-finger is an under actuated bimanual
modular structure worn on the paretic forearm by means of an elastic band. The device and the paretic hand/arm act like the two parts of a gripper working together to hold an object. The patient can control the flexion/extension of the robotic finger through the eCap, an Electromyography (EMG) interface embedded in a cap. The user can control the device contracting the frontalis muscle by moving his or her eyebrows upwards. The Soft-SixthFinger has been designed as tool that can be used by chronic stroke patients to compensate for grasping in many Activities of Daily Living (ADL). It can be wrapped around the wrist and worn as a bracelet ecapwhen not used. The light weight and the complete wireless connection with the EMG interface guarantee a high portability and wearability. We tested the device with qualitative experiments involving six chronic stroke patients. Results show that the proposed system significantly improves the performance of the considered tests and the autonomy in ADL.

We are in Geneve right now to present our Soft-SixthFinger @Augmented Human Conference. Pics of the event are available here.