The influence of visual and haptic material information on early grasping force

Wouter M.Bergmann Tiest*, Astrid M.L. Kappers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this paper, we assess the importance of visual and haptic information about materials for scaling the grasping force when picking up an object. We asked 12 participants to pick up and lift objects with six different textures, either blindfolded or with visual information present. We measured the grip force and estimated the load force from the object's weight and vertical acceleration. The coefficient of friction of the materials was measured separately. Already at an early phase in the grasp (before lift-off ), the grip force correlated highly with the textures' static coefficient of friction. However, no strong influence on the presence of visual information was found. We conclude that the main mechanism for modulation of grip force in the early phase of grasping is the real-Time sensation of the texture's friction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number181563
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2019


Ethics. The experiment was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (Programme Haptic Perception, 2012-55). After receiving instructions, but before the experiment started, the participants provided written informed consent. Data accessibility. The dataset supporting this article is available at Authors’ contributions. W.M.B.T. and A.M.K.L. conceived the study, performed the data analysis and wrote the article. W.M.B.T. built the apparatus and performed the experiments. Competing interests. We declare we have no competing interests. Funding. This work has been partially supported by the European Commission with the Collaborative Project no. 248587, ‘THE Hand Embodied’, within the programme ‘Cognitive Systems and Robotics’. Acknowledgements. We would like to thank Séréna Bochereau (Institut des Systèmes Intelligents et de Robotique, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France) for her help with the friction measurements.

FundersFunder number
Seventh Framework Programme248587
European Commission


    • Cutaneous perception
    • Friction
    • Grip force
    • Material properties


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