Perception Threshold for Pressure by a Soft Textile Actuator

Judith Weda, Angelika Mader, Hamid Souri, Edwin Dertien, Jan van Erp

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Electroactive textile (EAT) has the potential to apply pressure stimuli to the skin, e.g. in the form of a squeeze on the arm. To present a perceivable haptic sensation we need to know the perception threshold for such stimuli. We designed a set-up based on motorized ribbons around the arm with five different widths (range 3 - 49 mm) for psychophysical studies. We investigated the perception threshold of force pressure and ribbon reduction in two studies, using two methods (PSI and 1up/3down staircase), comparing sex, the left and right arm, the lower and upper arm, and stimulated surface area with a total of 57 participants. We found that larger stimulation surfaces require less pressure to reach the perception threshold (0.151 N per cm<inline-formula><tex-math notation="LaTeX">$^{2}$</tex-math></inline-formula> for 3 mm width, 0.00972 N per cm<inline-formula><tex-math notation="LaTeX">$^{2}$</tex-math></inline-formula> for 49 mm width on the lower arm). This indicates a spatial summation effect for these pressure stimuli. We did not find significant differences in perception threshold for the left and right arm and, the upper and lower arm. Between male and female participants we found significant differences for two conditions (10 mm and 25 mm) in Experiment 1, but we could not reproduce this in Experiment 2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE transactions on haptics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print/First online - 27 Feb 2024


  • Clothing
  • electroactive textile
  • Force
  • Friction
  • Haptic interfaces
  • haptic textile
  • perception threshold
  • pressure
  • Skin
  • spatial summation
  • Springs
  • Textiles


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