Evaluation of direct and indirect Haptic aiding in an obstacle avoidance task for tele-operated systems

Samantha M.C. Alaimo, Lorenzo Pollini, Jean Pierre Bresciani, Heinrich H. Bülthoff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

16 Citations (Scopus)


The sense of telepresence is very important in teleoperation environments in which the operator is physically separated from the vehicle. It appears reasonable, and it has already been shown in the literature, that extending the visual feedback with force feedback is able to complement the visual information (when missing or limited) through the sense of touch and allows the operator to better perceive information from the remote environment and its constraints, hopefully preventing dangerous collisions. This paper focuses on a novel concept of haptic cueing for an airborne obstacle avoidance task; the novel cueing algorithm was designed in order to appear "natural" to the operator, and to improve the human-machine interface without directly acting on the actual aircraft commands. An experimental evaluation of two different Haptic aiding concepts for obstacle avoidance is presented. An existing and widely used approach, belonging to what we called the Direct Haptic Aid (DHA) class, and a novel one based on the Indirect Haptic Aid (IHA) class. The two haptic aids were compared with a baseline condition in which no haptic force was associated to the obstacles. Test results show that a net improvement in terms of performance (i.e. the number of collisions) is provided by employing the IHA haptic cue instead of both the DHA haptic cue and the visual cue only. Most participants of the experiment reported the strongest force feeling, the most necessary effort and also the most helpful sensation with DHA and IHA conditions with respect to the baseline condition. This paper shows that the IHA philosophy is a valid alternative to the other commonly used, and published in the scientific literature, approaches which fall in the DHA category.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th IFAC World Congress
PublisherIFAC Secretariat
Number of pages6
Edition1 PART 1
ISBN (Print)9783902661937
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameIFAC Proceedings Volumes (IFAC-PapersOnline)
Number1 PART 1
ISSN (Print)1474-6670


  • Haptics
  • Human-machine interface
  • Multi-sensory interface
  • Obstacle avoidance
  • Remote control (Remotely Piloted Vehicles)
  • Teleoperation
  • Telepresence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering


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