Departmental Papers (MEAM)

Document Type

Conference Paper

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Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:
Katherine J. Kuchenbecker, Joseph M. Romano, and William McMahan. (2011) "Haptography: Capturing and recreating the rich feel of real surfaces." 14th International Symposium on Robotics Research. Lucerne, Switzerland. August 31 - September 3, 2009. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-19457-3_15

The final publication will be available at in Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics, v. 70.


Haptic interfaces, which allow a user to touch virtual and remote environments through a hand-held tool, have opened up exciting new possibilities for applications such as computer-aided design and robot-assisted surgery. Unfortunately, the haptic renderings produced by these systems seldom feel like authentic re-creations of the richly varied surfaces one encounters in the real world. We have thus envisioned the new approach of haptography, or haptic photography, in which an individual quickly records a physical interaction with a real surface and then recreates that experience for a user at a different time and/or place. This paper presents an overview of the goals and methods of haptography, emphasizing the importance of accurately capturing and recreating the high frequency accelerations that occur during tool-mediated interactions. In the capturing domain, we introduce a new texture modeling and synthesis method based on linear prediction applied to acceleration signals recorded from real tool interactions. For recreating, we show a new haptography handle prototype that enables the user of a Phantom Omni to feel fine surface features and textures.


haptic modeling, haptic rendering, haptography



Date Posted: 01 February 2011