ERC Starting Grant: "Haptic Signal Processing and Communication (ProHaptics)"


In this EU-funded research project we study the communication of haptic information in networked telemanipulation systems. We put a special focus on perceptual coding of haptic data streams and address this issue by exploiting the limitations of human haptic perception. We also consider in our work error-resilient communication of haptic information in the presence of packet loss and communication delay.

Main Research Topics

  • Perceptual online and offline compression schemes for haptic signals
    Perceptual compression schemes use the limitness of the human sensory system in order to reduce the data amount for haptic signals. Online and offline compression is fundamentally different, as there are relaxed delay constraints for offline compression.
  • Objective quality evaluation schemes for haptic computing and communication
    Packet-rate reduction schemes are normally evaluated for perceived quality via subjective user tests. But these tests are costly and time consuming. Thus, a methology and a framework to model haptic interaction and evaluate quality of experience objectively is desirable.
  • Integration of haptic compression schemes with stability ensuring control architectures
    Transmission delay between the operator and the teleoperator in telepresence scenarios is critical. Even small delay may affect the system stability negatively. Combining stability ensuring architectures with effective compression mechanisms have to be addressed.
  • Multiplexing of multiple modalities and error-resilient haptic communication
    In a telepresence scenario, not only haptic signals, but also video and audio are transmitted. All modalities have to be multiplexed into a single stream, where ressources have to be allocated to improve the overal quality of experience. Besides this, haptic communication through networks like todays Internet suffer from transmission delay, delay jitter and packet loss and thus communication is more complicated.
  • A mathematical model of human haptic perception and theoretical analysis
    A mathematical model of human haptic perception based on psychophysical findings to integrate all known dependencies in space, time, as well as across different modalities and other relevant factors to estimate the degree of perception for a stimuli. Haptic information describing states beyond this degree of perception can be discovered and do not need to be sent to the receiver.

* The research presented on these web pages has received financial support by the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framewok Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC Grant agreement no. 258941.