Vincent Lévesque


Measurement of Skin Deformation Using Fingerprint Feature Tracking

Vincent Lévesque

M. Eng. Thesis, McGill University, November 2002.

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This thesis describes an experimental platform for the study of skin stretch of the human fingerpad during tactile exploration tasks. A digital camera records the sequence of patterns created by a fingertip as it slides over a transparent surface with simple geometrical features. Skin deformation is measured with high temporal and spatial resolution by tracking anatomical landmarks on the fingertip. Techniques adapted from the field of online fingerprinting are used to acquire high-contrast fingerprint images and extract salient features (pores, valley endings, and valley bifurcations). The performance of the method is evaluated with surfaces embossed with a ridge or valley and flat surfaces. This work is motivated by the need to provide meaningful 'tactile movies' for a tactile display using distributed lateral skin stretch.