Microelectrical mechanical systems actuator array for tactile communication

Eniko T. Enikov, Kalin V. Lazarov, Gilbert R. Gonzales

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

9 Scopus citations


Tactile perception of alpha-numerics is possible using a tactile illusion (TI). The illusory sensation of motion is produced by mechanical actuators applying points of pressure on the skin. Vibrating points induce a nonveridical perception of motion from point to point. Intact lemniscal and parietal cortex are necessary for perception of the TI and can be used as a neurophysiological testing tool and an additional human-machine communication channel. We describe a 4 x 5 actuator array of individual vibrating pixels for fingertip tactile communication. The array utilizes novel micro-clutch MEMS technology. Individual pixels are turned ON and OFF by pairs of microscopic thermal actuators, while the main vibration is generated by a vibrating piezo-electric plate. Physiological parameters required for inducing TI and the fabrication sequence for the thermal micro-actuators along with actuation results are presented. Fingertip perception of micro-actuators could be built into a variety of data acquisition interfaces for handicapped persons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputers Helping People with Special Needs - 8th International Conference, ICCHP 2002, Proceedings
EditorsKlaus Miesenberger, Joachim Klaus, Wolfgang Zagler
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)3540439048, 9783540439042
StatePublished - 2002
Event8th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs, ICCHP 2002 - Linz, Austria
Duration: Jul 15 2002Jul 20 2002

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Other8th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs, ICCHP 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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