Haptics – #sirslab paper published on IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L)

The hBracelet: a wearable haptic device for the distributed mechanotactile stimulation of the upper limb

Leonardo Meli, Irfan Hussain, Mirko Aurilio, Monica Malvezzi, Marcia K. O’MalleDomenico Prattichizzo.

DOI: 10.1109/LRA.2018.2810958

Abstract.  Haptic interfaces are mechatronic devices designed to render tactile sensations; although they are typically based on robotic manipulators external to the human body, recently, interesting wearable solutions have been presented. Towards a more realistic feeling of virtual and remote environment interactions, we propose a novel wearable skin stretch device for the upper limb called “hBracelet”. It consists of two main parts coupled with a linear actuator. Each part contains two servo actuators that move a belt. The device is capable of providing distributed mechanotactile stimulation on the arm by controlling the tension and the distance of the two belts in contact with the skin. When the motors spin in opposite directions, the belt presses into the user’s arm, while when they spin in the same direction, the belt applies a shear force to the skin. Moreover, the linear actuator exerts longitudinal cues on the arm by moving the two parts of the device. In this work we illustrate the mechanical structure, working principle, and control strategies of the proposed wearable haptic display. Furthermore, we present a qualitative experiment in a teleoperation scenario as a case study to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed haptic interface and to show how a human can take advantage of multiple haptic stimuli provided at the same time and on the same body area. The results show that the device is capable of successfully providing information about forces acting at the remote site, thus improving the overall telepresence.


A video showing the main concept of the work can be watched at

The pdf of the paper can be downloaded at http://sirslab.dii.unisi.it/papers/2018/Meli18_hBracelet.pdf

The paper can be cited using the following bibtex item

author={L. Meli and I. Hussain and M. Aurilio and M. Malvezzi and M. K. O’Malley and D. Prattichizzo},
journal={IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters},
title={The hBracelet: A Wearable Haptic Device for the Distributed Mechanotactile Stimulation of the Upper Limb},
keywords={Actuators;Belts;Force;Haptic interfaces;Pulleys;Robots;Skin;Haptics and haptic interfaces;human-centered robotics;telerobotics and teleoperation;wearable robots},


This work will be presented at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2018) that is held 21-25 May in Brisbane, Australia.

Tommaso Lisini PhD defence and degree

Our #sirslab star Tommaso Lisini during his excellent defence. Congratulations Tommaso for your PhD degree !!!

Our #sirslab star Tommaso Lisini during his excellent defence. Congratulations Tommaso for your PhD degree !!!

Posted by Domenico Prattichizzo on Friday, April 27, 2018

San Francisco Cross-Cutting Challenges on “Expanding Sensory Interactions: The Path to Intelligent Clothes and Objects Able to Change the Way We Communicate With the World”

Tomorrow we will run the Cross-Cutting Challenge on Expanding Sensory Motor Interactions organized by @Claudio Pacchierotti, @Leonardo Meli and myself in San Francisco at the IEEE Haptics Symposium 2018 #hapitcs2018 venue.

Recently, Elon Musk told an audience at the Dubai World Government Summit that “over time I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence.” In an age when AI and autonomy are becoming widespread, there is a growing need to empower human interactions through new intelligent devices. Nowadays, we have small wearable devices able to apply compelling haptic sensations as well as comfortable instrumented garments able to sense inputs coming from the human wearer (contact forces and motion). In the future, we foresee an advancement of these technologies toward more wearable and seamless solutions, until their complete blend and merge in what we call “wearable sensorimotor interfaces”. These novel interfaces will be able to sense user input and biometric information, and to apply haptic and other stimuli in an extremely seamless and comfortable way. This will be the first step toward a new field of research that can dramatically enlarge the potentiality and applicability of haptics to enhance human capabilities, health, and human interaction with digital information. Future applications may be in mixed and augmented reality, human sensory augmentation (e.g., extra limbs), assistance to elderly and disabled people, and natural control of intelligent devices (e.g., Internet of Things, smartphones).

The Cross-Cutting Challenge it is the first initiative of the haptics community and we are sure that our CCC will ispire and will get inspired by the interaction of the following renewed friends and colleagues:

Domenico Prattichizzo – University of Siena and Italian Institute of Technology (IIT), Italy #sirslab
Hrvoje Benko – Oculus Research, USA
Vincent Hayward – University of London, UK, and Actronika SAS, France
Lucy Dunne – University of Minnesota, USA
Matteo Bianchi – University of Pisa, Italy
Akihito Noda – Nanzan University, Japan
Hong Z. Tan – Purdue University, USA
Simone Rossi – University of Siena, Italy
Katherine J. Kuchenbecker – Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, Germany
Meg Grant – Seismic, Inc, USA
Allison M. Okamura – Stanford University, USA
Antonio Frisoli – TeCIP Institute, Italy
Leonardo Meli – University of Siena, Italy #sirslab
Claudio Pacchierotti – CNRS, France
Marcia O’Malley – Rice University, USA
Karon MacLean – University of British Columbia, Canada
Brad Holschuh – University of Minnesota, USA



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Rotary Siena Est for Give Me Six #SIRSLAB

Domenica 25 Marzo si terrà presso il Royal Golf la Bagnaia la terza edizione della Golf Cup Rotary Siena Est.
Tutti i fondi raccolti saranno destinati al nostro Laboratorio di Robotica #SIRSLAB del Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Informazione dell’Università degli Studi di Siena.
In particolare il service è rivolto al progetto “Give Me Six – IL sesto dito robotico da indossare: una nuova opportunità per i pazienti colpiti da Ictus.”
Ringrazio di cuore il Rotary Club Siena Est e il suo presidente Prof. Paolo Frezzotti per l’entusiasmo e l’attenzione rivolta a questo progetto e alle tante iniziative importanti che riguardano la nostra comunità. #rotary #sirslab

Il grande compositore Andrea Guerra al #sirslab

Science is Art.

Il gande compositore Andrea Guerra al #sirslab. Stay tuned !!!

Oggi il compositore Andrea Guerra e la film maker Alice Tomassini sono stati ospiti d’onore del #sirslab per una contaminazione tra arte e tecnologia. Grandissima professionalità di Andrea e Alice. Andrea ha scritto per Giorgia la musica di Gocce di memoria, ed è autore della colonna sonora del film La finestra di fronte, diretto da Ferzan Özpetek.
Prevedo qualcosa di importante in un futuro non certo remoto. #staytuned

Oggi il compositore Andrea Guerra e la film maker Alice Tomassini sono stati ospiti d'onore del #sirslab per una…

Posted by Domenico Prattichizzo on Friday, March 9, 2018

The official 2018 #SIRSLab group picture

This is the great picture taken at Palazzo Pubblico in Siena of the glorious (yes please let me use such an adjective, at least for fun :-)) #SIRSLab with our friend Simone Rossi. _DP DSC00059.JPG