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Influence of auditory and haptic feedback on a balancing task
by Stefania Serafin; Niels Christian Nilsson; David Skaarup
International Journal of Autonomous and Adaptive Communications Systems (IJAACS), Vol. 6, No. 4, 2013


Abstract: In this paper, we present a system based on a wobble board, an instrument used in rehabilitation, augmented with an accelerometer and a pair of actuators. The main idea is to use augmented objects to enhance rehabilitation. Specifically, the accelerometers are manufactured by Phidgets, and connected through USB to a laptop computer. The actuators are manufactured by Tactile labs and are connected through an amplifier to a soundcard and a laptop computer. We used this system in an experiment with the goal of investigating the role of auditory and haptic feedback to facilitate the act of balancing on the board. Specifically, we designed a simple balance task consisting of balancing a box on a tilting virtual platform. The motion of the virtual platform is controlled by the motion of the subjects on the physical board. The experiment was run under eight different conditions: with no feedback, with auditory feedback, with haptic feedback, with visual feedback and with all combinations of the above. Auditory and haptic feedback were generated in software by using a physics-based simulation of friction between the box and the surface. Results show that subjects' ability to perform the task depends merely on their balance skills and not on the feedback they are exposed to.

Online publication date: Tue, 20-Aug-2013


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