Haptics To Improve Task Performance In People With Disabilities A Review Of Previous Studies And A Guide To Future Research With Children With Disabilities

This review examines the studies most pertinent to the potential of haptics on the functionality of assistive robots for manipulation tasks for use by children with disabilities. Haptics is the fast emerging science that studies the sense of touch concerning the interaction of a human and his/her environment; this paper particularly studies the human-machine interaction that happens through a haptic interface to enable touch feedback. Haptics-enabled user interfaces for assistive robots can potentially benefit children whose haptic exploration is impaired due to a disability in their infancy and throughout their childhood. A haptic interface can provide touch feedback and potentially contribute to an enhancement in perception of objects and overall ability to perform manipulation tasks. The intention of this paper is to review the research on the applications of haptics, exclusively focusing on attributes affecting task performance. A review of studies will give a retrospective insight into the previous research with various disability populations, and inform potential limitations/challenges in research regarding haptic interfaces for assistive robots for children with disabilities.