A partial contact frictional force model for finger-surface interactions

Marco Janko, Zhengqiao Zhao, Moshe Kam, Yon Visell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Touching an object with our fingers yields frictional forces that allow us to perceive and explore its texture, shape, and other features. While the relevance of these frictional forces to sensory and motor function in the hand is well established, the way that they reflect the shape and texture of touched objects is not well understood. This lack of knowledge currently constraints the development of haptic rendering algorithms that rely on reproducing frictional forces to mimic the sensation of touching real surfaces. To address this, we created a low order contact mechanics inspired model that accounted for: disconnection between the finger and high relief features of the surfaces, and differences of pressure applied in the contact regions. The output of our model was compared to experimental frictional force measurements of bare-fingers sliding on structured surfaces. The results show high similarity between the measurements and the model output. The model presented can be used to predict frictional forces if the geometry of a touched surface is known together with the coefficient of friction of the untextured surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIEEE Haptics Symposium, HAPTICS 2018 - Proceedings
EditorsYon Visell, Katherine J. Kuchenbecker, Gregory J. Gerling
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781538654248
StatePublished - May 9 2018
Event2018 IEEE Haptics Symposium, HAPTICS 2018 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Mar 25 2018Mar 28 2018

Publication series

NameIEEE Haptics Symposium, HAPTICS
ISSN (Print)2324-7347
ISSN (Electronic)2324-7355


Other2018 IEEE Haptics Symposium, HAPTICS 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction


Dive into the research topics of 'A partial contact frictional force model for finger-surface interactions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this