Stick&Slip: Altering Fingerpad Friction via Liquid Coatings


We present Stick&Slip, a novel approach that alters friction between the fingerpad & surfaces by depositing liquid droplets that coat the fingerpad. The liquid coating modifies the finger’s coefficient of friction, allowing users to feel surfaces up to ±60% more slippery or sticky. We selected our fluids to rapidly evaporate so that the surface returns to its original friction. Unlike traditional friction- feedback, such as electroadhesion or vibration, our approach: (1) alters friction on a wide range of surfaces and geometries, making it possible to modulate nearly any non-absorbent surface; (2) scales to many objects without requiring instrumenting the target surfaces (e.g., with conductive electrode coatings or vibromotors); and (3) both in/decreases friction via a single device. We identified nine liquids and characterized their practicality by measuring evaporation rates, etc. To illustrate the applicability of our approach, we demonstrate how it enables friction in virtual/mixed-reality or, even, while using everyday objects/tools.

ACM CHI 2024