Lab paper on the vibrations of touch in PNAS

Our new PNAS paper sheds light on the surprisingly rich structure in signals felt by the hand when touching, grasping, or manipulating objects.  This work was featured on the UCSB front page, currently at:  Read more here:

Y. Shao, V. Hayward, Y. Visell, Spatial Patterns of Cutaneous Vibration During Whole-Hand Haptic Interactions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016.

Recent Flyby of the UCSB Campus

A little preview for all the #FutureGauchos out there.

Posted by UC Santa Barbara on Sunday, March 20, 2016

(Our building, Elings Hall/CNSI, is one of the first ones visible...)

Gravitational Waves – Unknown Territories Radio, with Yon Visell and Irene Moon

Oh The Gravity! What else could we talk about this week on Unknown Territories but the announcement that Gravitational...

Posted by Unknown Territories on Friday, February 12, 2016

AI and Go – Unknown Territories with Yon Visell and Irene Moon – Saturday, KCSB-FM and Online

Next Saturday on Unknown Territories we will interview Jonathan Platkiewicz, Post Doctoral Researcher at City College of...

Posted by Unknown Territories on Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pacinian Corpuscle

An exquisitely sensitive receptor for transient or fluctuating mechanical signals, we have thousands of pacinian corpuscles in each limb.  Figure by R. T. Verillo reproduced in Bell et al., Prog. Neurobiol. 42, 1994.


Walkin' again!

Talk at Penn Institute for Research in Cognitive Science

Dr. Visell will be giving a talk on December 5 in the noon colloquium series at the Penn Institute for Research in Cognitive Science.  Details here!  IRCS has an especially distinguished roster of faculty, so we'll do our best to step up to the plate.  Here is the abstract:

Engineering Touch

A longstanding goal of engineering research has been to realize technologies that can reflect the remarkable prehensile, sensory, and behavioral capabilities of biological systems for touch, including the human hand. This objective remains far from reality, due in part to the difficulty of specifying, electronically capturing, and reproducing touch stimuli. These difficulties can be traced to their high dimensionality, to the multiple length and time scales they span, to their dependence on motor behavior and on contact mechanical interactions with the environment. I will describe research aimed at quantifying and overcoming these challenges, and how we are using the results to develop new technologies for haptic display, sensing, and robotics.

Max for Cats

Christian Klein's excellent Max for Cats (no relation to Music for Cats) collection of virtual musical instruments and digital audio effects for Ableton Live and MaxMSP continues to expand! Happily, a few ideas I produced around the time of my tenure (over a decade ago!) writing audio processing code at Ableton made it into them.  

Eurohaptics 2014 in Versailles, France

Eurohaptics 2014 is over!  In contrast to the photo below, the conference was not held in the palace, but in the former stables (now the school of architecture).  This year's event was highlighted by some fantastic presentations, papers, and demonstrations.

Big congratulations to our students and collaborators, Hikaru Nagano, Marco Janko, Rich Primerano, Shogo Okamoto, Keerthi A Duraikkannen, and Vincent Hayward.  Vincent also chaired the conference. We presented three papers this year. Our work on force patterns during bare finger contact was shortlisted in the best paper category. Thank you!

We also gave a talk "On Vibration and Softness Perception" at the wonderful Multisensory Softness workshop organized by Max Di Luca, in advance of the forthcoming eponymous Springer book that he has edited. The talk was inspired by the book chapter of Visell and Okamoto.