Interfaces that make use of the characteristics of cutaneous sensation

researcher's name
research field
Rehabilitation science/Welfare engineering,Intelligent robotics


Compared to our senses of sight and sound, many of the characteristics of our sense of touch (cutaneous sensation) have yet to be elucidated. We touch things every day that have a mixture of a variety of characteristics in shape, structure, pressure, hardness, texture, slipperiness, etc., and we differentiate between different objects via an integrated mechanism. We are aiming to establish a quantitative method of evaluating our sense of touch to analyze our ability to differentiate between different things, and create ways of communicating information through touch. We are also aiming to improve the performance of devices that are operated with our fingers, and create new interfaces.


Designing an information communicating device for the visually impaired

Analyzing the characteristics of a variety of tactile sensing such as differences in the surface area, the layer structure and hardness (Young’s modulus), slipperiness, etc., and proposing devices that make use of these characteristics

Analyzing the upper arm extension illusion caused by vibration stimuli.


Establishing guidelines for forms of easy-to-read Braille and tactile signs

Developing tactile devices and designs for PC-operating mice, remote controllers, switches, touch panels, etc.

Improving interfaces for remote control and VR technology.


Using evaluation methods based on on-site opinions (from healthy people, disabled people and the elderly) and basic research, we are carrying out research into the practical application of manufacturing methods that focus on accessible designs. In the laying down of domestic and international standards (JIS and IS), we acted as a member of the Committee Specializing in Supporting the Elderly and Challenged of METI’s Japanese Industrial Standards Committee (JISC). We were responsible for holding discussions and presenting proposals to the ISO, and we have a wealth of knowledge in this area. This has given us knowhow in tactile information communication and optimization of device designs.

purpose of providing seeds

Sponsord research, Collaboration research, Technical consultation


  • Fig. 1: Evaluation of the dimensions of protruding signs and their cross-sectional shape that contribute to improvement in operability of consumable products
  • Fig. 2: Research into the characteristics of differentiation in tactile signals and Braille
  • Fig. 3: Research into the characteristics of differentiation of hardness by people
  • Fig. 4: Experimental investigation of a velvety texture sensed through passive touch
posted: 2014/05/21