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Affective Haptics

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.

There is a range of physical triggers for and manifestations of our emotions, including:
(1) physiological changes (e.g., heart beat rate, body temperature, etc.). Each emotion is characterized by a specific pattern of physiological changes. The emotion can be induced through the manipulation of false feedback of the physiological signals.
(2) physical stimulation (e.g., tickling). The affect is evoked in a direct way.
(3) social touch. Social touch (e.g., hug, handshaking, stroke, pat, squeeze, etc.) influences mood and provide a sense of physical copresence in computer‐mediated systems.
(4) emotional haptic design (e.g., shape of device, material, texture). Recent findings show that attractive things make people feel good, which in turn makes them think more creatively.
The workshop will attempt to answer the questions: (1) how do the haptic stimuli influence the human emotions, (2) how does our brain handle the affective tactile stimuli, (3) which haptic technologies can elicit emotions, (4) what are the most promising applications of affective haptics technologies.


Touch plays an important role in human social life. It communicates positive or negative emotions and is one emotional intensifier of interpersonal communications.
Tactile interfaces and devices could let users enhance their emotional-communication abilities by adding a new dimension to communication. Interpersonal relationships and the ability to express empathy grow strongly when people become emotionally closer.
There has been recent research on intelligent systems providing emotionally immersive experiences for online communication with rich haptic channels, and in the development of robotic companions that can simulate the emotional response through the haptic channel (vibration pattern, temperature, etc.), voice and gestures. Such robots can have positive therapeutic effect on the patients and improve their socializations.
Affective Haptics has a great potential to impact on the online environments that facilitate contact with others remotely, sense of telepresence, product design, healing and treatment of the mental, emotional, social and physical aspects of the person (e.g. depression, anxiety, autism, etc.).

Primary Objectives

The workshop will provide an overview of the recent achievements in Affective Haptics and bring researchers together to discuss how sense of touch can elicit our emotions and approaches to study such effects on the human.
The Workshop speakers will discuss the aspects of Affective Haptics listed below:

• Robotics:
   Haptic human-robot interaction, its therapeutic effect and impact on cognitive function.
   Patient-specific prosthetics with lifelike warmth, softness and sensitivity.
   Wearable emotional robots.
• Emotion elicitation:
   Devices and systems for the emotion evocation.
   Modulation of emotions by false physiological feedback.
   Emotion elicitation in direct and remote social interaction through haptic channel.
• Applications:
   Emotionally rich online communication, affective game, psychological testing, etc.
   Affective haptics in medical care, treatment of anxiety, depression, autism, etc.
• Emotional design:
   Emotional touch-friendly design for mobile multimodal interfaces. Influence of modalities (graphics, sound, touch) on the overall user satisfaction and their correlation.
   The measurable characteristics of the tactile perceptions that make pressing buttons, interacting with touch screens, etc. feel good.
   Quantitative assessment of pleasantness and painfulness of touch.
   Haptic perception of surface roughness and its connection to emotional state.
• Neuroscience and psychology:
   Affective representation of pleasant, painful, and fearful touch in human brain.
   Affective Haptics in understanding the role of the amygdala in emotional responses.
   Affective Haptics and Theories of Emotions.
• Affective computing:
   Detection and recognition of emotional information (skin conductivity measurement, natural and haptic language processing, facial expression detection, hand gesture recognition, etc.)

Target Audience

The target audience for the workshop will be students, researchers, academicians, who work in such fields as affective touch, emotional communication, human-robot interaction, neuroscience. The workshop promises to be very inspiring for attendees and covers cutting-edge research in Affective Haptics. 

Schedule Description
13:00-13:15 Dzmitry Tsetserukou

Welcome and Introduction

13:15-13:45 John‐John Cabibihan

Patient‐Specific Prosthetics with Lifelike Warmth, Softness and Sensitivity

13:45-14:15 Karon E. MacLean, Steve Yohanan, Yasaman S.
Sefidgar, and Matthew K.X.J. Pan
Emotional Communication and Implicit Control through Touch
14:15-14:45 Alexander Toet Towards Effective Affective Haptic Interaction
14:45-15:00 Break  
15:00-15:30 Chris Ullrich Affective Haptic Technologies by Immersion Corp.
15:30-16:00 Dzmitry Tsetserukou and Alena Neviarouskaya Emotion Augmentation through Affective Haptics and Visual Stimuli
16:00-16:30 Fabien Danieau Measuring and Improving the Quality of Haptic-Audio-Visual Experience
16:30-17:00 Bertina Lee and Carolyn MacGregor An Information Process Model of Emotional Response to Haptic Input
17:00-17:15 Organizer, Participants Discussion: the biggest needs in Affective Haptics for the research, proposal for IEEE ToH Special Issue, plans for research and collaboration