About this Research Topic
While the feeling of being present in a remote or virtual environment has reached a high level of sophistication and widespread use through interaction solutions such as video conferencing/gaming, a complete immersion cannot be realized without the possibility of physical interaction. Haptics, as an extension of visual and auditory modalities, enable humans to sense and manipulate surrounding objects with both kinesthetic and tactile information. Haptics has brought biomechanics, psychology, neurophysiology, engineering, and computer science together in the study of human touch and force feedback with the external environment.
While haptic studies have gained widespread attention, this Research Topic seeks to promote innovative work for haptics in virtual and mixed reality, especially for, but not limited to haptic applications in neuro and neurophysiology:
Neurohaptics is the field of study that strives to understand the complex neural representation provoked in response to tactile and/or kinesthetic stimuli. Neurohaptic systems offer a technology that can send and/or receive signals from/to the brain to entirely replicate a physical interaction experience. We are looking for solutions for advanced neurohaptic VR systems that will allow users to transport their consciousness of the physical environment anywhere they want.
Haptic-based telemedicine and rehabilitation with digital human models:
Rising challenges associated with the increasing shortage of healthcare providers, geographic disparities in quality of care, and the overburdened healthcare system are leading developed countries to seek new systemic healthcare solutions. Evidence suggests that robot-assisted telemedicine and telerehabilitation can improve this gap and the quality of service to patients regardless of living location. Existing telemedicine and telerehabilitation approaches are however mainly focused on digital and Internet-of-Things technologies that enable linked and interfaced health information, electronic medical records, data streams, and audiovisual connections. However, for example, orthopedic applications (including sports medicine, geriatric medicine, and rehabilitation) require haptic feedback, active physical interaction, palpation, and even high-quality visual feedback for diagnosis and intervention. For this type of interaction to be possible, novel haptic devices, sensor- and robotics-based technologies, and haptic-interaction paradigms are needed.
Recent advances in physics and database-informed models of relevant human features, e.g., musculoskeletal system, motion patterns, have fostered the design of digital human models. In telepresence applications, such as telemedicine and telerehabilitation, the digital-twin of the human-in-the-loop enhances transparency, knowledge transfer, performance, and safety during human-robot interaction. At the same time, the same methods can improve the haptic experience of the operator. This is even more relevant in precise and long-term operation tasks, such as teleoperated robotic surgical systems.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Neural science in haptics,
- Haptic social interactions in VR,
- Haptic Interface Design & Control,
- Tactile Displays,
- Human-Computer Interaction Involving Haptics,
- Multi-Modal Systems Involving Haptics,
- Tele-operation and environment modeling,
- Haptic Rendering and Modeling,
- Shared Haptic Control and Collaboration,
- Human Haptic Perception,
- Neuroscience of Touch,
- Human-Robot Haptic Interaction,
- Haptics in Industrial and Commercial Applications,
- Other Innovative Uses of Haptics
All kinds of submissions are welcome. This includes, but not limited to technical papers, survey and tutorial, technical report, system papers, etc.
Keywords: haptic interface, haptic applications, tele-operation and virtual environments, human behavior modeling, haptics in neurophysiology, human haptic perception
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.