Massimiliano Di Luca awarded £15K from the Royal Society to investigate how humans perceive material softness

Posted on Friday 18th May 2012

Dr Massimiliano Di Luca has been awarded a £15,000 research grant from the Royal Society. The project will investigate how humans perceive the softness of an object while pressing their hand against it. The grant will be used to purchase a force-feedback device that simulates the haptic interaction with objects having different materials. Participants will rest their hand on the device and push against it – as they would push down on an object sitting on the table. Experiments will look at the kind of movements and the ability to discriminate objects of different softness. This data will be used to create a computational model to describe the sensorimotor abilities of humans interacting with a soft object.