Improving Finger Force Control with Vibrational Haptic Feedback for Multiple Sclerosis

L. Jiang, M.R. Cutkosky (USA), J. Ruutiainen, and R. Raisamo (Finland)


Multiple sclerosis, Vibration, Force sensing, Haptic feed back, Rehabilitation.


Pathologies including stroke and multiple sclerosis can leave patients with impaired tactile and proprioceptive sen sation, which contributes to their difficulty in performing everyday tasks. We present the results that indicate that a combination of fingertip force sensing and vibrational feedback can help patients with multiple sclerosis improve their performance in manipulation tasks. The feedback can take the form of an “event cue” in which patients are alerted when forces at the fingertips stray outside of a rec ommended range, or proportional feedback, in which trains of vibration pulses are correlated directly with the fingertip forces. While both types of feedback allow the patients to handle objects with more accurate force control, the for mer approach is more successful and preferred by subjects with mild impairment while the latter approach appears to be most effective for patients with severe impairment.

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