In our research, we investigate haptic, robotic, and interactive systems, inspired by capabilities of humans and other animals. Through theory and experiments, we design technologies for haptic interaction in AR/VR, create mechanically resilient soft robots, and wearable robotic systems, among many other projects.
The lab is directed by Prof. Yon Visell. Visell is active in transdisciplinary research intersecting haptics, robotics, soft robotics, HCI, DSP and acoustics. He is General Co-Chair for IEEE Haptics Symposium 2020, the longest running haptics conference. He has held positions at UCSB, at science, art, and engineering institutions in North America and Europe, and at several tech companies, including a gig doing DSP development at Ableton. More about Prof. Visell’s in his bio…
Our multidisciplinary lab integrates engineers, artists, and scientists. It is part of the Media Arts and Technology Program, Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at UCSB. We are based in the California NanoSystems Institute, affiliated with the Communication and Signal Processing group in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and with the Dynamic Systems, Control, and Robotics in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The lab is affiliated with the Center for Polymers and Organic Solids, the UCSB Research Center for Virtual Environments and Behavior, and with the UCSB Robotics Group.
Selected Recent Publications (Full list here)
Y. Shao, V. Hayward, Y. Visell, Spatial Patterns of Cutaneous Vibration During Whole-Hand Haptic Interactions [PDF+SI]. PNAS, 113 (15), 2016.
T. N. Do, H. Phan, T.-Q. Nguyen, and Y. Visell, Miniature Soft Electromagnetic Actuators for Robotic Applications. Advanced Functional Materials, 2018. Cover article.
B. Khojasteh, M. Janko, Y. Visell, Complexity, rate, and scale in sliding friction dynamics between a finger and textured surface. Nature Scientific Reports 8 (13710), 2018.
M. Janko, M. Wiertlewski, Y. Visell, Contact geometry and mechanics predict friction forces during tactile surface exploration. Nature Scientific Reports, 8 (4868), 2018.
H. Wolfe, M. Peljhan, Y. Visell, Singing Robots: How Embodiment Affects Emotional Responses to Non-linguistic Utterances [PDF]. IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, To Appear, 2017.
B. Li, Y. Shi, A. K. Fontecchio, Y. Visell, Mechanical Imaging of Soft Tissues with a Highly Compliant Tactile Sensing Array [PDF]. IEEE Trans. on Biomed. Eng., 65 (3), 2018.
B. Li, A. K. Fontecchio, Y. Visell, Mutual capacitance of liquid conductors in deformable tactile sensing arrays [PDF]. Applied Physics Letters 108, 2016.
S. Patwardhan, A. Kawazoe, D. Kerr, M. Nakatani, Y. Visell, Too hot, too fast! Using the thermal grill illusion to explore dynamic thermal perception. Proc. IEEE Haptics Symposium, 2018. Best Student Presentation Finalist.
B. Dandu, I. Kuling, Y. Visell, Where Are My Fingers? Assessing Multi-Digit Proprioceptive Localization [PDF]. Proc. IEEE Haptics Symposium, 2018. Best Paper Award Nomination.
Y. Shao, Y. Visell, Learning Constituent Parts of Touch Stimuli from Whole Hand Vibrations. Proc. IEEE Haptics Symposium, 2016. Best Paper Award Runner Up.
S. Kiratli, A. Cadambi, Y. Visell, HIVE: An Interactive Sound Sculpture for Exploring the Aesthetics of Spatial Sound. Proc. New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME), 2017.
The lab has received generous support through multiple grants from the National Science Foundation, and through support and collaborations with the VR and healthcare industries. We enjoy collaboration and encourage interested parties to contact Prof. Visell.
We hold lab meetings about every week. Interested in working with us? Join us at a lab meeting or read some of our papers and contact us. Engineers, scientists, artists, and designers are all welcome.
UCSB is an outstanding place to work, and College of Engineering is renowned for its research excellence. Engineering faculty members include three Nobel Laureates, 37 members of the National Academies of Engineering or Invention, numerous IEEE Fellows and other awards. UCSB was ranked the #1 public university in the world for engineering research citation impact (Leiden, 2015, 2016), and ranked #9 in the world for producing Nobel laureates (Times Higher Education, 2017). Our Electrical and Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering graduate programs ranked in the top 5 in the most recent US National Research Council ratings, and our Materials and Chemical Engineering graduate programs consistently rank among the top 5 in the US (US News and NRC).
Santa Barbara is a hub for high technology and innovative startups, with one of the highest levels of venture capital investment per capita in the United States. A very incomplete sampling of companies in and near Santa Barbara: Sonos, FLIR, SpaceX, TrackR, Cree, Biopac, Medtronic, InTouch Health (telemedicine / robotics), Productive Robotics, Raytheon, AppFolio, Moog, LogMeIn, Yardi, Zoom, Toyon, L3, Curvature, Eucalyptus (cloud computing), Inogen, bioIQ, Advanced Scientific Concepts (Lidar), Milo, NuSil, Spectron Microsystems, Channel Technologies Group / Piezo Kinetics, Crystalline Mirror Solutions, Freedom Photonics, Owl Biomedical, WorldViz (VR), D2 Technologies, SORAA (solid state lighting / lasers), Apeel Sciences, and many, many others.