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Workshops and tutorials

The tutorials and workshop program is offered in parallel tracks on Sunday, March 4. For exact timing, see the full technical program.

Morning sessions

This tutorial is comprised of three 50-minute lectures on topics selected to provide the key background information needed to appreciate neural mechanisms for processing somatosensory information. Concepts include efference copy, receptor adaptation, spinal circuit operations, and multimodal cortical processing. Collated, hard copies of lecture notes will be provided. Each speaker will also give an introduction to his or her research program and invite questions.
In this tutorial, I will cover various machine learning methods for pattern recognition at an overview level illustrated with case studies mostly taken from haptics applications, and further lay out the space covered by other methods without reviewing them specifically. I will only talk about basic statistical pattern recognition methods applied for supervised learning; namely, Bayesian decision theory, linear discriminant, and k-nearest neighbor methods; emphasizing the distinction between generative and discriminative approaches. I will close by mentioning commonly used extensions of the introduced methods and by providing resources for the participants to follow up with. I will also provide some guidelines on parameter selection and optimization for the classifiers, which is still a research problem in pattern recognition.
As the field of haptics technology expands, both as a field of academic study and as an important component of interfaces in consumer and industrial products, there is an increasing need to educate the next generation of haptics researchers and practitioners. The maturation of some areas of haptics technology (in particular, kinesthetic interfaces) has over the last decade resulting in a set of principles/algorithms that provide a common framework for teaching and learning haptics. In addition, strategies for teaching and documenting successful techniques in emerging areas of haptic technology are needed.
Panel workshop
With the plethora of haptic devices that are commercially available today, the question often arises: what device is “good enough” for a given application? Since haptics technology is being increasingly used for different applications such as computer games, surgical simulators, mobile phones etc., there is a clear need to understand hardware evaluation practices and their implications on device design, use and application. This workshop aims at meeting this need by establishing standard practices for evaluation of haptic hardware and by identifying significant benchmark metrics.

Afternoon sessions

Panel workshop
This workshop will present detailed information on the many tools and techniques currently available to prototype haptic interfaces. The workshop will consist of five presentations from researchers who have designed a wide variety of haptic interfaces. The presenters will provide a detailed review of sensors, actuators, control technologies, and fabrication methods. The materials will include example devices, schematics, instructions, hints and lessons learned. Each presenter will cover established methods as well as newer approaches. The materials will be made available in electronic format as a resource for participants after the workshop.
Open workshop
Affective Haptics is the emerging area of research which focuses on the design of devices and systems that can elicit, enhance, or influence the emotional state of a human by means of sense of touch. Human emotions can be easily evoked by different cues, and the sense of touch is one of the most emotionally charged channels. Affective Haptics is a wide interdisciplinary area, strongly related to such fields as multi‐modal interfaces, affective computing, neuroscience, psychology, mediated communications, telepresence, robotics, etc.
Panel workshop
Haptic interaction design is that phase of product development where one designs the interaction with the product that occurs through touch and manual control. This activity includes the design of the physical interaction components and devices, as well as the design of the modalities for interacting with them, also including the integration with other modalities as vision and sound (crossmodal interaction). The kind of interaction depends on the product attributes and on its functionalities, and also on the target users of the product. For example, the design of haptic interaction devoted to skilled users requires the acquisition of knowledge about the users’ skills and dexterity, about the users’ objectives in using the product, so as to best exploit the ways these users are used to do things and to perform manual tasks. Alternatively, one can design products integrating haptic and touch as a novel interaction modality, which proposes users a new way of doing the usual things. Or one can even design a novel physical interaction that aims at creating new emotional and compelling experiences for the potential future users of the product.