Haptics for human augmentation and superhuman sports
Workshop for Worldhaptics2019
Tuesday July 9 2019
Place: Hall S (2F)


Haptics is an interdisciplinary field exploring the science of touch and technology. While still in its infancy, the last decade has shown tremendous interest, advancement, and commercial potential. At the same time, there’s a significant interest in augmenting and expanding of our senses and abilities. It is therefore timely to explore the intersection of haptics and human augmentation. Preliminary explorations include vibrotactile compass belts that give users a new “sense” of direction; soft “muscles” that increase strength and reduce fatigue; and electrotactile devices that build new balance systems in the brain for those with vestibular damage. While much effort for human augmentation has been applied toward rehabilitative and assistive purposes, augmentation need not restrict itself to disability; instead, when viewed in the general sense as “augmenting human ability”, haptic technology is applicable in a broader range of areas. If we consider ability as a spectrum, haptic technology for human augmentation provides gains in ability regardless of where a user falls within this spectrum, whether we are enhancing “disability” to “ability”, or “ability” to “super-ability”. Sports is one of the best application areas of human augmentation. As a child, have you ever dreamed of having superpowers: flying through the air, being invisible or climbing straight up walls? During childhood, we often role-play and pretend we have superpowers. Motivated by these episodes, this workshop brings together experts from a variety of computing and engineering disciplines focusing on how we might use AR/VR and other augmentation technologies to make some of these powers a reality. With Superhuman Sports, we want to create an application area to explore AR/VR technologies to enhance human abilities in a playful way. The field of superhuman sports combines competition and physical elements from traditional sports with technology to overcome the somatic and spatial limitations of our human bodies. The focus is on improving cognitive and physical functions of the human body, creating artificial senses and reflexes to participate in sports competitions, creating and exploring new experiences with these novel senses and reflexes by augmenting old sports, designing new sports enhancing the training, and sharing with the audience locally and remotely.

Invited speakers

Kai Kunze, Keio University, Japan

RobinChen With over eighteen years of experience in the Wearable Computing research field, Kai works as a Professor at the Graduate School of Media Design, Keio University, Yokohama, Japan. Beforehand, he held an Assistant Professorship at Osaka Prefecture University. He received a Summa Cum Laude for his phD thesis from Passau University. His work experience includes research visits/internships at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), MIT Media Lab, Sunlabs Europe and the German Stock Exchange. His current research includes quantifying cognitive states and amplifying human senses. He is actively involved in the community, most notably he is General Co-Chair of UbiComp 2018, PC Co-Chair for TEI 2017, ISWC 2016. He is an Executive Board and Founding Member of the Superhuman Sports Society.

Akihiko Murai, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan

RobinChen Akihiko Murai received his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanoinformatics, in 2003, 2005, and 2009 respectively from the University of Tokyo, Japan. He is currently a senior research scientist at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). Prior to joining AIST, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, and a project assistant professor at the University of Tokyo. Dr. Murai is a recipient of ROBOMECH Journal Best Paper (2019), Young Investigation Excellence Award of RSJ (2016), Robotics-Mechatronics Division Annual Prize (2010), SICE Research Award (2009), and JSPS Research Fellowship for Young Scientists (2009). His research interests include physical human interaction, anatomical human modeling, the human neuro-musculoskeletal system, human motion measurement and analysis, and character animation.

Prof. Robin Bing-Yu Chen, National Taiwan University,Taiwan

RobinChen Bing-Yu Chen received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science and Information Engineering from National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, in 1995 and 1997, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in Information Science from The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan, in 2003. He is currently a Professor with Department of Information Management, Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, and Graduate Institute of Networking and Multimedia of National Taiwan University. His current research interests include Human-Computer Interaction, Computer Graphics, and Image Processing. He is a senior member of ACM and IEEE. He is also the General Co-Chair of MobileHCI 2019, which will be held in Taipei, Taiwan in early October.

Troy McDaniel, Arizona State University, USA

RobinChen Troy McDaniel is an Assistant Research Professor in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering at Arizona State University. He is the Associate Director of the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing at ASU. His research interests span the areas of haptic interfaces, wearable robotics, smart cities, human-computer interaction, and machine learning, especially for haptics. He is particularly interested in tactile vision sensory substitution, haptic human augmentation, and multimodal integration. His current research explores how information traditionally presented visually and/or aurally may be presented haptically through novel touch-based interfaces. His current application areas are assistive technologies for individuals with sensory impairments and rehabilitative technologies for individuals with physical impairments. Within these applications, he is exploring new haptic interaction paradigms and novel mappings between modalities to convey information in alternative ways. He is also actively exploring challenges of accessibility and health & well being within Smart Cities and Smart Living application spaces using a citizen-centered approach. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

Ramin Tadayon, Arizona State University, USA

RaminTadayon Dr. Ramin Tadayon is an AI Researcher working at the Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing at Arizona State University. Ramin received his doctoral degree in Computer Science from Arizona State University in 2017. His research focuses on the application of AI and exergames toward multimodal environments including haptic interaction for motor learning and rehabilitation applications. He is also exploring the use of person-centric research toward the design and evaluation of real-time adaptation in exercise training at various levels of the training process, including physical augmentation, performance-based feedback, and game design. Ramin’s work, which emphasizes haptics as a platform for automated guidance, was featured in the IEEE Multimedia Magazine article “Person-Centered Multimedia Computing: A New Paradigm Inspired by Assistive and Rehabilitative Applications,” which won the Best Department Article award in 2016.


9:00- Introduction

9:20-11:15 Talk session (15min talk + 5min QA, including 15min break)

Prof. Kai Kunze, Keio University

Title: Augmenting Our Cognition

Dr. Akihiko Murai, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology

Title: ENV-BODY Impedance : Technology to Design Motivation to Sports

Prof. Robin Bing-Yu Chen, National Taiwan University

Title: Building Pop-up Props for Virtual Reality

Prof. Troy McDaniel, Arizona State University

Title: HaptWrap: Augmenting Non-Visual Travel via Visual-to-Tactile Mapping of Objects in Motion

Dr. Ramin Tadayon, Arizona State University

Title: Real-Time Haptic Feedback for Smart Motion Training in Rehabilitative Exergames

11:15-12:15 Demo session

Introduction of demonstrations

Demonstrations of haptics technology for human augmentation and superhuman sports

- Slide Lift, Isao Uebayashi, Hayato Obayashi, Hayato Sato, Syota Katagiri, Ryoichi Ando

- Coaching system of motion timing for a baseball batter using force stimulus, Wataru Sakoda, Yuichi Kurita

- Free-motion exergame prototype with real-time stealth assessment, Ramin Tadayon

- A body-worn vibrotactile device to enhance distance perception of individuals who are blind during travel, Troy McDaniel


Yuichi Kurita, Hiroshima University

Kouta Minamizawa, Keio University

Troy McDaniel, Arizona State University

Kai Kunze, Keio University

Ramin Tadayon, Hiroshima University/Arizona State University