Task Dynamics of Prior Training Influence Visual Force Estimation Ability during Teleoperation

Zonghe Chua, Anthony M. Jarc, Sherry M. Wren, Ilana Nisky, Allison M. Okamura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The lack of haptic feedback in teleoperation is a potential barrier to safe handling of soft materials, yet in Robot-assisted Minimally Invasive Surgery (RMIS), haptic feedback is often unavailable. Due to its availability in open and laparoscopic surgery, surgeons with such experience potentially possess learned models of tissue stiffness that might promote good force estimation abilities during RMIS. To test if prior haptic experience leads to improved force estimation ability in teleoperation, 33 naive participants were assigned to one of three training conditions: manual manipulation, teleoperation with force feedback, or teleoperation without force feedback, and learned to tension a silicone sample to a set of forces. They were then asked to perform the tension task, and a previously unencountered palpation task, to a different set of forces under teleoperation without force feedback. Compared to the teleoperation groups, the manual group had higher force error in the tension task outside the range of forces they had trained on, but showed better speed-accuracy functions in the palpation task at low force levels. This suggests that the dynamics of the training modality affect force estimation ability during teleoperation, with the prior haptic experience accessible if formed under the same dynamics as the task.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9189819
Pages (from-to)586-597
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Medical Robotics and Bionics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020


  • Haptic interfaces
  • cognition
  • human-computer interfaces
  • medical robotics
  • multisensory integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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