Sensory Perception & Interaction Research Group

University of British Columbia


Bits are one-degree-of-freedom actuated sketches which we use as a design tool to explore rendering of emotion through physical and visual motion.

The CuddleBot allows us to use an animal model of therapy to examine how touch interactions influence stress and anxiety mitigation.

Embodied, physical interaction can improve learning by making abstractions concrete. We use DIY haptic devices to move hands-on learning online.

Gelly is a mutual capacitance based sensor that can sense touch localization, proximity, pressure, and shear. Our project aims to guide the development path of the Gelly and explore the application space of this new technology.

Crowdsourcing can gather rapid feedback at scale, but how do we crowdsource a haptic prototype? Haptic proxies are visualizations and simplified phone vibrations that can be used to represent high-fidelity haptics in studies conducted using Mechanical Turk.

Macaron is a free, open-source, online haptic editor. Designed to be an easy-to-use tool for anyone working with haptics, it is a platform for experimenting with new haptic design features and has helped us understand how examples aid the haptic design process.

MacaronMix is an online, open-source tool for morphing haptic signals. Designers, researchers, and hapticians can use this tool to create and study haptic icons, and to develop new morphing algorithms. Link:

Sensing the way people touch certain kind of objects gives us insight into the toucher's emotional state.

Our furry robots' breathing is innately calming. Can we use this therapeutically?

People describe vibrations using emotional descriptions. For example, signals can feel more or less "lively" than others. Can this language be used to stylize vibrations to feel more/less along certain emotional dimensions? 

People differ widely in how they perceive and want to use tactile signals. What kind of tools are needed to support them in customizing?

Voodle is an interface that uses vocal input to design haptic behaviour.

Inactive Projects

People and robots communicating and collaborating in close proximity on manufacturing tasks.

A wearable haptic notification system for speakers and session chairs.

Hop, run, skip, and jump your way to better health (and context-aware applications).


Flexible smartphones can use life-like movement to communicate information to users.

Radiologists use 30-year-old technology to interact with cutting-edge diagnostic imagery. We studied their problem and looked at the ways haptic feedback could be used to improve it.

To guide walking rate, we detect cadence and cue individual steps with minimal attentional impact.

The smart fur prototype is a new type of touch sensor built with conductive fur, with the goal of aiding in gesture recognition in the Haptic Creature system.