Thresholds for Perceiving Changes in Friction When Combined With Linear System Dynamics

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Understanding human perception of haptic feedback is critical when designing and regulating these interfaces. In recent years, experiments have been conducted to determine the just-noticeable difference (JND) in mass-spring-damper dynamics, using a hydraulic admittance display in the form of a side-stick. These experiments have resulted in a model of JNDs when interacting with linear second-order dynamics. In real-world applications, however, control force dynamics also commonly include nonlinearities, such as friction. This research extends the current understanding of JNDs in linear systems by including the nonlinear case, where friction is also present. Experiments were conducted to determine JNDs in friction when combined with second-order system dynamics. Results indicate that friction JND can be independent of linear system dynamics as long as its value compared to the linear system's impedance is sufficiently large. As a consequence, friction JND follows Weber's law, also when it is combined with mass-spring-damper dynamics, unless the level of friction approaches the detection threshold, which in turn can be influenced by the linear system dynamics. Based on the findings presented, it is possible to conduct targeted experiments to confirm and add to these initial results.