This paper explores methods that make use of visual cues aimed at generating actual haptic sensation to the user, namely pseudo-haptics. We propose a new pseudo-haptic feedback-based method capable of conveying 3D haptic information and combining visual haptics with force feedback to enhance the user’s haptic experience. We focused on an application related to tumor identification during palpation and evaluated the proposed method in an experimental study where users interacted with a haptic device and graphical interface while exploring a virtual model of soft tissue, which represented stiffness distribution of a silicone phantom tissue with embedded hard inclusions. The performance of hard inclusion detection using force feedback only, pseudo-haptic feedback only, and the combination of the two feedbacks was compared with the direct hand touch.The combination method and direct hand touch had no significant difference in the detection results. Compared with the force feedback alone, our method increased the sensitivity by 5 %, the positive predictive value by 4 %, and decreased detection time by 48.7 %.The proposed methodology has great potential for robot-assisted minimally invasive surgery and in all applications where remote haptic feedback is needed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1177-1186
Number of pages10
JournalMedical and Biological Engineering and Computing
Issue number11
Early online date28 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2015


  • Haptic feedback
  • Pseudo-haptic feedback
  • Rigid tool/soft tissue interaction
  • Tumor identification


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