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Special Issue "Tactile Sensing and Rendering for Healthcare Applications"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Electronic Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Fernando Vidal-Verdú
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Electronics, Institute of Biomedical Research of Málaga (IBIMA), University of Málaga, 29071 Málaga, Spain
Interests: smart sensors; mechatronics instrumentation; tactile sensors; assistive technologies
Dr. Wael Bachta
Website
Guest Editor
Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique (ISIR) UMR 7222, Sorbonne Université, CNRS Equipe Agathe UI, Inserm U1150, France
Interests: human postural control; touch and balance; assistive robotics
Dr. Andrés Trujillo-León
Website
Guest Editor
Grupo PAI Electrónica para Instrumentación y Sistemas. Department of Electronics, University of Málaga, 29071 Málaga, Spain
Interests: tactile sensors; force sensors; haptics; rehabilitation; assistive technology and conditioning electronics

Special Issue Information

This Special Issue of Sensors is focused on the healthcare applications of sensors and actuators related to tactile sensing and display. Tactile sensors are used to assess the contact interface of users of assistive devices such as wheelchairs, prosthesis, orthosis or footwear. This provides information to improve ergonomics, evaluate balance or prevent sores. Force and tactile sensors are also commonly used in rehabilitation devices as a way of providing control feedback or information about gait phases and to implement touch sense in therapy robots and toys. They also allow the detection of tumors in tissues of different compliance. The tactile sensor can be attached to a tool and used to gather touch information, which is provided to the surgeon through a tactile display or haptic device, in a palpation procedure using Minimally Invasive Surgery. The same devices can be part of telepresence or sensory substitution systems for impaired people. Tactile displays allow visually impaired people to access information such as text or graphics through the sense of touch. Moreover, proper rendering achieves a wide range of tactile sensations such as different stiffness or texture, and tactile icons or tactons. Tactile stimulation is also used in rehabilitation, for instance, in the training of post-stroke patients to improve recovery of motor function.

Prof. Dr. Fernando Vidal-Verdú
Dr. Wael Bachta
Dr. Andrés Trujillo-León
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sensors is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • tactile sensors
  • tactile displays
  • haptic devices
  • rehabilitation
  • human–robot interaction
  • healthcare
  • prosthetics
  • assistive technology.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Development of a Human-Display Interface with Vibrotactile Feedback for Real-World Assistive Applications
Sensors 2021, 21(2), 592; https://doi.org/10.3390/s21020592 - 15 Jan 2021
Abstract
It is important to operate devices with control panels and touch screens assisted by haptic feedback in mobile environments such as driving automobiles and electric power wheelchairs. A lot of consideration is needed to give accurate haptic feedback, especially, presenting clear touch feedback [...] Read more.
It is important to operate devices with control panels and touch screens assisted by haptic feedback in mobile environments such as driving automobiles and electric power wheelchairs. A lot of consideration is needed to give accurate haptic feedback, especially, presenting clear touch feedback to the elderly and people with reduced sensation is a very critical issue from healthcare and safety perspectives. In this study, we aimed to identify the perceptual characteristics for the frequency and direction of haptic vibration on the touch screen with vehicle-driving vibration and to propose an efficient haptic system based on these characteristics. As a result, we demonstrated that the detection threshold shift decreased at frequencies above 210 Hz due to the contact pressure during active touch, but the detection threshold shift increased at below 210 Hz. We found that the detection thresholds were 0.30–0.45 gpeak with similar sensitivity in the 80–270 Hz range. The haptic system implemented by reflecting the experimental results achieved characteristics suitable for use scenarios in automobiles. Ultimately, it could provide practical guidelines for the development of touch screens to give accurate touch feedback in the real-world environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tactile Sensing and Rendering for Healthcare Applications)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Wearable tactile-foot interface for navigation of blind people in urban spaces
Authors: Ricardo Tachiquín; Ramiro Velázquez; Carolina Del-Valle-Soto; Miguel Carrasco; Carlos A. Gutiérrez; Andrés Trujillo-León; Paolo Visconti
Affiliation: Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Panamericana, Aguascalientes, Ags., México Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Panamericana, Zapopan, Jal., México Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias, Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, Santiago, Chile Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí. San Luis Potosí, Mexico Department of Electronics, Institute of Biomedical Research of Málaga (IBIMA), University of Málaga, Málaga, Spain Department of Innovation Engineering, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy
Abstract: This paper presents a novel, wearable interface for visually impaired and blind people that combines a global positioning system (GPS) for user outdoor localization and tactile-foot stimulation for information presentation. Real-time GPS data provided by a smartphone are processed by dedicated navigation software to determine the directions to a destination. Navigational directions are then encoded as vibrations and conveyed to the user via a tactile display that inserts into the shoe. The experimental results showed that users were capable of recognizing with high accuracy the tactile feedback provided to their feet and are capable of using such feedback for urban navigation. The results suggest that the proposed system enhances independent, safe navigation of blind pedestrians and show the potential of tactile-foot stimulation in assistive devices.

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