Wearable contact force sensor system based on fingerpad deformation

Masashi Nakatani, Tomoyuki Kawasoe, Kouzo Shiojima, Kazumi Koketsu, Satoshi Kinoshita, Jun Wada

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

38 Citations (Scopus)


We developed a wearable sensor system for estimating finger contact force by measuring the mechanical deformation of the side of the fingerpad. The first part of this paper describes and validates the principle of contact force estimation, and discusses the design criteria of the wearable sensor. We then describe the manufacture of a practical sensor system in the form of a wearable fingerpad fixture and the development of a calibration procedure which eliminates the effect of individual fingerpad differences. The measured root mean square (RMS) error in estimating contact force is about 0.2 N, which is suitable for examining subtle human behaviors, such as applying cosmetics. We demonstrated the possible usage of the contact force sensor in combination with a three-axis acceleration sensor. The proposed sensor system is sufficiently small and light when fixed on the fingernail, and is considered to have little constraining or modifying effect on usual haptic behaviors. It should be widely useful for evaluating human haptic procedures in psychological research or ergonomic studies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2011 IEEE World Haptics Conference, WHC 2011
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event2011 IEEE World Haptics Conference, WHC 2011 - Istanbul, Turkey
Duration: 2011 Jun 222011 Jun 24

Publication series

Name2011 IEEE World Haptics Conference, WHC 2011


Other2011 IEEE World Haptics Conference, WHC 2011


  • contact force
  • finger deformation
  • tactile sensor
  • wearable

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction


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