Tactile textures have been recognized to have an important impact on the sensation of exposure in virtual reality systems and play a subtle role in achieving a set of telerobotic applications like remote probing, feature recognition and quality assessment. Their discerning and modeling in the context of virtual reality systems and telerobotic applications have been of increasing interest to a number of researchers and have so far proven to be very challenging. This paper provides a brief review of recent progresses on modeling and rendering tactile textures and presents some preliminary results of an ongoing research at Surrey that uses random field models to characterize some approximately repeatable patterns commonly encountered in tactile textures. It is believed that such an approach is able to capture the underlying trend of patterns in tactile textures and to give a more quantitative description of them. This will be valuable for achieving consistent feature extraction, registration and recognition in the context of virtual reality systems and telerobotic applications. Interpretation of some preliminary experimental results indicate that the approach is viable, and resulted in the recognition of different tactile texture patterns.
"Towards discerning and modeling tactile textures", Proc. SPIE 3206, Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies IV, (12 December 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.295573; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.295573