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HUGO, High-Resolution Haptic Feedback

Project type

New interaction method


April, 2023


Haifa, Israel

Research presentation

HUGO stands as one of the main achievements of my PhD research, driven by the indispensable role of tactile feedback in our daily interactions. While visual and auditory stimuli offer immersive experiences, traditional cutaneous and tactile feedback devices often struggle to convey a broad spectrum of sensations, limiting their effectiveness to rudimentary synthetic surfaces.

Conceived through a human-centered design process, HUGO aims to overcome this limitation by stimulating mechanoreceptors sensitive to pressure, low-frequency vibrations, and high-frequency vibrations. Through meticulous engineering, the device enables users to experience intricate touch sensations reminiscent of complex real-world surfaces.

At its core, HUGO integrates a parallel manipulator and a pin-array, operating simultaneously at 200Hz to emulate both coarse and fine geometrical features. This decomposition into coarse and fine features, alongside the high operation frequency, facilitates the realistic simulation of intricate virtual surfaces.

The effectiveness of HUGO was validated through comprehensive experiments on diverse real-world surfaces, utilizing quantitative recognition tests and usability questionnaires. The results underscored its capability to replicate a wide range of tactile sensations, laying the groundwork for its integration into various applications. Additionally, the experiment design was published and is available as a benchmark for haptic devices.

The project encompassed electromechanical design for the actuators, mechanism design, hardware and software development, and the orchestration of a user study to validate performance. Funded by the Israel Innovation Authority towards commercialization, HUGO represents a significant advancement in enhancing tactile feedback technology. Presented and shown as a live demo at CHI23 and UIST23.

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