Aalborg Universitet (AAU, www.aau.dk) currently consolidates and further develops its profile as a dynamic and innovative research and educational institution oriented towards the surrounding world. The great majority of ranking lists put AAU in the top 3% of the world’s 18,000 universities. The Department of Health Science and Technology (HST) at AAU constitutes Denmark’s largest integrated health technology research and teaching environment. The laboratories of the HST department are equipped to support state-of-the-art research and teaching. Dissemination of knowledge is prioritized and the department strives towards establishing dialogue with industry and other potential beneficiaries such as the surrounding society.
The TACTILITY project is being developed at SMI®, Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction, which is the largest research centre at the HST department. SMI® is an international research and training centre employing approximately 80 researchers, with 50% of the staff coming from abroad. Translational research in neuroscience and engineering is the primary focus of SMI®. The established research co-operation and partnerships with a wide range of research centres, hospitals, and companies constitute a substantial resource for SMI®. Currently, co-operation includes more than 40 organisations in 15 countries and 20 national and international companies. Interdisciplinarity, international collaborators, and engaged and highly educated researchers are the main resources at SMI®.
The Department of Electronic Systems is one of the largest departments at AAU with a total of more than 200 staff. The department is internationally recognized for the contributions in information and communication technology, having published more than 400 articles in last five years. Research activities are carried out in cooperation with industry and national and international research institutions. The TACTILITY project is run at the section Connectivity (CNT) at the Department of Electronic Systems, AAU. CNT is well-known for its pioneering results in the field of machine-type communications (MTC) and Internet-of-Things, publishing numerous works on short-packet communications, advanced wireless access networking schemes for massive MTC and ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC). CNT staff took part in the flagship EU research projects on 5G, like METIS (Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for Twenty-twenty (2020) Information Society), Fantastic 5G (Flexible air interface for scalable service delivery within wireless communication networks of the 5th Generation) and is currently involved in ONE5G (E2E-aware Optimizations and advancements for the Network Edge of 5G New Radio).
The researchers from the HST department are responsible for investigating and developing the electrotactile stimulation patterns to elicit realistic tactile experience using the TACTILITY glove. This includes defining the specifications of the feedback interface, psychometric assessment of the TACTILITY glove, development and testing of the electrotactile haptic effects, as well as the validation of the designed feedback in the two application scenarios (local and remote interactions). The experimental assessment is conducted on healthy subjects.
The researchers from CNT are responsible for the haptic communication-related tasks in the project. This includes the research and development of advanced codecs for tactile and kinematic data for the developed high-density sensing-array glove, modelling of the data traffic generation in the tele-manipulation scenarios, and research and development of methods for ensuring reliable and low-latency communications in the scope of Tactile Internet.