The goal of our research is to elucidate the nature of touch and interaction, and to improve the world through advances in haptics, robotics, and creative engineering. The RE Touch lab is directed by Prof. Yon Visell, is part of the Media Arts and Technology Program, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Department of Mechanical Engineering at UCSB. We are based in the California NanoSystems Institute and affiliated with the Communication and Signal Processing in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and with the Dynamic Systems, Control, and Robotics in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Our lab is part of the UCSB Robotics Group.

Hot off the press!  (See Publications)

T. N. Do, H. Phan, T.-Q. Nguyen, and Y. Visell,  Miniature Soft Electromagnetic Actuators for Robotic Applications.  Advanced Functional Materials, To Appear, 2018. Cover article. 

M. Janko, M. Wiertlewski, Y. Visell, Contact geometry and mechanics predict friction forces during tactile surface exploration.  Nature Scientific Reports, 8 (4868), 2018.

Interested in what we do?  Join us!  

We are investigating new engineering principles and developing tools that will allow us realize haptic and robotic systems that reflect the astounding capabilities of biological organisms.  To do this, we develop theoretical and empirical knowledge to guide the design of electronic technologies that allow for touch, movement, and interaction, and to create mechanically resilient, soft robotic systems.  We apply these advances to challenges in haptics, VR, robotics, and healthcare, such as diabetes detection, sensory impairments, or rehabilitation.  Our group draws on expertise in electrical and computer engineering, signal processing, neuroscience, art, design, and robotics.  

Our lab creates new haptic concepts, devices, and systems, and engineers new technologies for tactile sensing and feedback in robotics, VR, and biomedical applications. We also theoretically and empirically investigate the nature of perception and action.  

We hold lab meetings about every week.  Interested in joining the lab? 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).  All of our engineering graduate programs were in among top 5 in the most recent US National Research Council rankings. Our Materials and Chemical Engineering graduate programs consistently rank among the top 5 in the US (US News, 2016, and NRC).


California NanoSystems Institute, home of the RE Touch Lab

UCSB Campus at the edge of the Pacific Ocean