Power Optimization of Ultrasonic Friction-Modulation Tactile Interfaces

Michael Wiertlewski, J. Edward Colgate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Ultrasonic friction-modulation devices provide rich tactile sensation on flat surfaces and have the potential to restore tangibility to touchscreens. To date, their adoption into consumer electronics has been in part limited by relatively high power consumption, incompatible with the requirements of battery-powered devices. This paper introduces a method that optimizes the energy efficiency and performance of this class of devices. It considers optimal energy transfer to the impedance provided by the finger interacting with the surface. Constitutive equations are determined from the mode shape of the interface and the piezoelectric coupling of the actuator. The optimization procedure employs a lumped parameter model to simplify the treatment of the problem. Examples and an experimental study show the evolution of the optimal design as a function of the impedance of the finger.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6919307
Pages (from-to)43-53
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Haptics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Ultrasonic
  • haptics
  • surface haptics
  • tactile interface
  • variable friction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications

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