The Haptic Interface Technology Lab (HITLab) is an interdisciplinary research group led by Dr. Yasemin Vardar. We locate in the Human-Robot Interaction Section of the Cognitive Robotics Department at the 3mE Faculty of the Delft University of Technology. We are founded in September 2020.
Our Vision and Goals
Imagine you could feel the brush strokes of Van Gogh in his The Starry Night painting, the fabric of the clothes you consider purchasing online, or tissues in medical images. We are all familiar with the impact of digitization of audio and visual information in our daily lives - every time we take videos or pictures on our phones. Unfortunately, there is no such equivalent for our sense of touch. Even though tech companies have been trying to include tactile sensations in their latest products, the achieved tactile experiences are limited to buzzes and clicks. We envision a future where humans can touch the digital and feel it as if they interacted with the physical world or experience augmented touch sensations assisting their interactions.
The main bottlenecks obscure this future are the limited understanding of how the human sense of touch works and the lack of efficient methodologies to capture and re-create the feel of natural objects. Our research aims to solve these scientific challenges to create natural, effective, and customizable tactile interactions in digital environments. For this goal, we undertake research projects in four areas: surface haptics, texture perception & rendering, multimodal haptic interfaces, and understanding human touch.
To pursue these research goals, our lab has acquired funding from Dutch Research Council (NWO-VENI, NWO-OTP, NWO-XS), TU Delft (3ME Cohesion), the tech industry (Huawei Technologies), and European Commission (Erasmus+).