Grip Force Control during Virtual Interaction with Deformable and Rigid Objects Via a Haptic Gripper

Amit Milstein, Lital Alyagon, Ilana Nisky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Most studies of grip force control focus on the manipulation of rigid objects. However, in virtual and teleoperation applications, objects are often elastic in the pinch degree-of-freedom, and are manipulated using a handle that presents haptic feedback to the user. When designing controllers for haptic grippers, it is crucial to understand how grip force is controlled when manipulating rigid and deformable objects. Here, we used a virtual teleoperation setup with a haptic gripper interface to investigate grip force control in virtual environments. Ten participants lifted virtual objects and performed vertical, cyclic motions using a haptic gripper. We manipulated the control signal to the virtual interface, the haptic properties of the gripper, and the visual properties of the virtual objects to test their effect on the grip force control. We found that participants modulated their grip force as a function of the anticipated load force in all of the experimental conditions. The control signal and properties of the haptic gripper, but not the visual properties of the objects, affected the baseline and the extent of the grip force modulation. These results can provide design guidelines for haptic grippers that elicit natural grasping in virtual and bilateral teleoperation applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)564-576
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Haptics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • Grasping
  • grip force - load force modulation
  • haptics
  • human sensory motor control
  • human-robot physical interaction
  • robot-assisted surgery
  • tele-robotics
  • virtual environments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications


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