Programmable Tactile Feedback Patterns for Cognitive Assistance by Flexible Electret Actuators


Advanced tactile feedback systems are important tools in the field of human–machine interfaces. In this work, an airflow-assisted corona charging process is utilized to charge films made of electret material for the construction of a sandwich-structured flexible actuator system. With a voltage as low as 20 V, this flexible actuator can stimulate skin sensations for basic tactile feedback functions. Under a driving voltage of 200 V, the system can generate an output force of ≈55 mN, which is larger than that of the output force by cellphones under the vibration mode. Utilizing these prototype flexible electret actuators array, programmable patterns of tactile sensations can be generated on human skin according to both vibrational intensities and spatial positions. Thus, two demonstrations of human–machine interface are illustrated based on the proposed device: 1) A tactile-assisted navigation prototype with programmable commands; and 2) a tactile-based braille prototype constructed via a 6-pixels actuator array to generate designated patterns for assisting human–machine communications. As such, this system prototype has potential for applications in cognitive assistance via tactile feedbacks.

Keywords: Tactile feedback, Cognitive assistance, Actuator, Electret

Tao Jiang
Wenying Qiu
Zhaoyang Li
Xing Ye
Yuhan Liu
Yushi Li
Xiaohao Wang
Xiang Qian
Publication date: 
October 10, 2021
Publication type: 
Journal Article
Tao Jiang, Wenying Qiu, Zhaoyang Li, Xing Ye, Yuhan Liu, Yushi Li, Xiaohao Wang, Junwen Zhong, Xiang Qian, Liwei Lin, "Programmable Tactile Feedback Patterns for Cognitive Assistance by Flexible Electret Actuators," Advanced Functional Materials, Vol. 32, 2107985, 2021.

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