MEASURING PLIABLE PERCEPTION CAPABILITIES IN TELEOPERATED AND VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS
Surgical simulation offers surgeons an opportunity to enhance surgical safety, by practicing advanced skills outside the operating room before attempting them on living patients. In this work we compare perceptual capabilities in teleoperated environment, in virtual one, and in direct hand-object manipulation, by benchmarking two tasks which constitute the palpation procedure. In the first task we account for perceptual capabilities in stiffness dis- crimination, while in the second one the capabilities in size discrimination. Data collected in teleoperated setup did not differ from the one collected in real hand-object manipula- tion, nor in virtual environment. Subjects assessed the physical peculiarities of the object, identified the spatial position, and distinguished different roughness. These results should be considered as a proof of the constancy of the perceptual capabilities in haptics within different environments.