Tactile InteGration for Humans and arTificial systems
In a world where humans work with machines and communicate via computers or smartphones, we need to re-consider the concepts of confidence and awareness towards artificial devices. Confidence is essential, since it allows humans to tackle known or unfamiliar tasks with increased hope, optimism, and resilience. Awareness enables confidence, because the more we know about the task we have to perform, and about the agent we must interact with, the more we are confident. In TIGHT, we aim at communicating this sense of awareness to humans that need to be assisted by other humans or by artificial systems. The mutual understanding between a human and her/his collaborator, no matter if it is another connected human or a robot, will be enabled by novel tactile communication paradigms formulated within TIGHT. The tactile channel has several advantages, but it is still under-exploited in complex assistive and industrial applications. Capitalizing on the successful results of the newly established field of wearable haptics, we will tackle the technological and neuroscientific challenges that derive from the development of wearable haptic interfaces suitable for human-human (e.g., visually-impaired people guidance) and human-robot (e.g., cooperative assembly) collaboration scenarios.