Closed-loop Control using Electrotactile Feedback Encoded in Frequency and Pulse Width

Jakob L. Dideriksen*, Irene Uriarte Mercader, Strahinja Dosen


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15 Citationer (Scopus)
156 Downloads (Pure)


Sensory substitution by electrotactile stimulation has been widely investigated for improving the functionality of human-machine interfaces. Few studies, however, have objectively compared different ways in which such systems can be implemented. In this study, we compare encoding of a feedback variable in stimulation pulse width or stimulation frequency during a closed-loop control task. Specifically, participants were asked to track a predefined pseudorandom trajectory using a joystick with electrotactile feedback as the only indication of the tracking error. Each participant performed eight 90 s trials per encoding scheme. Tracking performance using frequency modulation enabled lower tracking error (RMSE: Frequency modulation: 0.27 ± 0.03; Pulse width modulation: 0.31 ± 0.05; p < 0.05) and a higher correlation with the target trajectory (Frequency modulation: 83.4 ± 4.1%; Pulse width modulation: 79.8 ± 5.2%; p < 0.05). There was no significant improvement in performance over the eight trials. Furthermore, frequency-domain analysis revealed that frequency modulation was characterized with a higher gain at lower error frequencies. In summary, the results indicate that encoding of feedback variables in the frequency of pulses enables better control than pulse width modulation in closed-loop dynamic tasks.

TidsskriftIEEE Transactions on Haptics
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)818-824
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 1 okt. 2020


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