Post-Doctoral Research Visit F/M Dexterous Interaction in VR

  • Part time
  •  Rennes - Bretagne, France
  •   847 days ago

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Post-Doctoral Research Visit F/M Dexterous Interaction in VR using High Density Electrotactile Feedback

Le descriptif de l'offre ci-dessous est en Anglais


Contexte et atouts du poste

This postdoc position is framed under the EU H2020 ICT 25 Tacility project. Tactility aims at creating a new generation of smart high-density electrotactile systems able to adapt to the user, application scenarios and use conditions. The ability to generate localized tactile feedback will change the way we interact with virtual reality content. Users will be able to feel the physical properties of virtual objects (e.g. roughness, stiffness) supporting a wide variety of natural interactions and information retrieval. One of the main hypothesis of Tactility is that it is possible to improve the feeling of immersion and embodiment by leveraging a multimodal approach, i.e. by integrating the electrotactile stimuli with visual and auditory information. TACTILITY is based on a highly interdisciplinary approach, experts from fields such as computer science, electrical/electronic engineering, psychology and neuroscience.

The candidate will work in the Hybrid team with the collaboration of the Rainbow team in the joined Inria / IRISA research center located in Rennes, France. Inria and IRISA are amongst the leading research centers in Computer Science in France. The Hybrid team is internationally recognized in the fields of Virtual Reality and Haptics, while the Rainbow team is internationally recognized in the fields of Robotics and Haptics.

Mission confiée

Haptic devices commonly used in virtual reality are unfit for precise dexterous manipulation. As of today, the only systems capable of doing so are cumbersome and costly multi-finger devices such as active exoskeletons. Alternatively, the use of tactile feedback could allow the user to gather additional information from the virtual environment. Such information can be used for exploratory purposes (e.g. feel a soft or a bumpy surface) or for interaction purposes (e.g. enable the precise and realistic grasping of a virtual object [1,2]). Other research groups have tried to add haptic feedback to interfaces based on hand tracking by developing their own haptic displays. Technologies based on ultrasound [3, 4], air streams [5], and pin-matrix [6] allow interaction with a bare hand, but they are too complex to scale to large workspaces.

Principales activités

The main objective is the creation of novel interaction methods leveraging electrotactile feedback to provide natural user interfaces (NUIs). The ability to provide high density localized tactile feedback to the user's hand will enable an increased awareness of the actions being performed supporting precise and complex dexterous manipulations of virtual objects. However, as the perception of electrotactile feedback is still limited, it will be needed to investigate, trough psychophysical studies, how electrotactile feedback can be modulated in order to increase the range of tactile sensations that can be generated. In addition to the modulation of the electrotactile feedback, multimodal rendering (visual and acoustic), it is also envisioned to further increase the elicited sensations. Finally, presence, embodiment and interaction are key components in any VR experience. So far, these have been characterized only in scenarios with no or crude tactile feedback is available [7, 8]. User studies will be needed in order to assess the impact of such novel interaction methods in the user experience.

Finally, the candidate will participate in the supervision of PhD and Master students involved in the project, and attend to the regular meetings with the other international partners of Tactility.


[1] S. Lederman and R. Klatzky, ?Extracting object properties through haptic exploration,? Acta psychologica, vol. 84, no. 1, pp. 29-40, 1993.

[2] T. Feix, J. Romero, H. B. Schmiedmayer, A. M. Dollar and D. Kragic, ?The grasp taxonomy of human grasp types,? IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems, vol. 46, no. 1, pp. 66-77, 2016.

[3] T. Carter, S. Seah, B. Long, B. Drinkwater and S. Subramanian, ?UltraHaptics: multi-point mid-air haptic feedback for touch surfaces,? in Proceedings of the 26th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology, 2013.

[4] T. Hoshi, M. Takahashi, T. Iwamoto and H. Shinoda, ?Noncontact tactile display based on radiation pressure of airborne ultrasound,? IEEE Transactions on Haptics, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 155-165, 2010.

[5] R. Sodhi, I. Poupyrev, M. Glisson and A. Israr, ?AIREAL: interactive tactile experiences in free air,? ACM Transactions on Graphics (TOG), vol. 32, no. 4, p. 134, 2013.

[6] M. Shimojo, M. Shinohara and Y. Fukui, ?Human shape recognition performance for 3D tactile display,? IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics-Part A: Systems and Humans, vol. 29, no. 6, pp. 637-644, 1999

[7] K. Kilteni, A. Maselli, K. Kording and M. Slater, ?Over my fake body: body ownership illusions for studying the multisensory basis of own-body perception,? Frontiers in human neuroscience, vol. 9, p. 141, 2015.

[8] E. Ofek and M. Reiner, ?A subjective touch to presence: Haptic performance, emotions and subjective significance,? in Proceedings of 10th international workshop on presence, 2007.


Profile (s) searched for


The candidate must have preferably a PhD degree on haptics or on virtual reality. In addition, the candidate should be comfortable with as much following items as possible:

  • Development of 3D/VR applications (e.g. Unity3D).
  • Multimodal interaction (e.g. visual, haptics, audio)
  • Evaluation methods and controlled users studies.
  • Computer graphics and physical simulation.

The candidate must have good communication skills. This PhD is framed under a European project, thus the candidate would have to interact with other members of the project and assist to regular project meetings.


  • Subsidized meals
  • Partial reimbursement of public transport costs


Monthly gross salary amounting to 2653 euros

Further informations

Type de contrat : CDD de la fonction publique

Contrat renouvelable : Oui

Niveau de diplôme exigé : Thèse ou équivalent

Fonction : Post-Doctorant

Niveau d'expérience souhaité : De 3 à 5 ans

A propos du centre ou de la direction fonctionnelle

Inria, the French national research institute for the digital sciences, promotes scientific excellence and technology transfer to maximise its impact.
It employs 2,400 people. Its 200 agile project teams, generally with academic partners, involve more than 3,000 scientists in meeting the challenges of computer science and mathematics, often at the interface of other disciplines.
Inria works with many companies and has assisted in the creation of over 160 startups.
It strives to meet the challenges of the digital transformation of science, society and the economy.

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Date of initial publication: 2019-09-14

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