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Figure 10.1 Summary diagram of the tactile stimulation modalities
the tangential displacements (characterising the speed variations). They obtained the
following two results:
when an actuator is limited in terms of the range of movement (in case of the
piezoelectric actuators) the tangential stimulation is then the best choice on all the
tested parts of the human body;
When an actuator is limited in terms of force (the torque of a DC micro-actuator)
then the tangential stimulation is the best choice for hairy skin, but normal
stimulation remains the best choice on the finger tip.
10.4 STATE OF THE ART OF THE TACTILE INTERFACES
Several research groups study the sense of touch in all its aspects. Some of them focus
on the purely physiological aspects, others on the psychological aspects, and finally
there are those who work on the technological aspects (Benali-Khoudja, 2004). Before
exploring the last category (the technological aspect) further, let's take a look at a few
examples that demonstrate the importance of tactile feedback in the various domains
of application.
In some of our everyday life situations, the tactile sense is indispensable to carry
out a task in a better way. This can be illustrated by the results obtained on the perfor-
mance of surgeons during surgical operations, which demonstrate that complementing
a telemanipulation device with a tactile feedback function would make it possible for
the surgeons to touch an organ “from a distance'', to complete their diagnosis on a
possible pathology (Massimino & Sheridan, 1993). Other experiments in the same
domain have demonstrated the importance of tactile rendering in the path and/or
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