Frequently Asked Questions

About Haptipedia

What is Haptipedia?

Haptipedia is an online, open-source, visualization of a growing database more than 105 haptic devices invented since 1992. Device and experience designers, with backgrounds in haptics or in other design fields, can browse and search the database to track haptic technology evolution and ideate new devices, find devices that fit their project criteria and interests, and access information and resources for obtaining and/or fabricating them. They can contribute to the database by providing or verifying data on existing or new devices.

The Haptipedia Project is a collaboration between multiple research institutes. It is an independent and community-sourced project, meaning that the information is collected with community input but is reviewed and verified by our team of haptic experts before presented to the public. We are not funded by any organization or entity beside the above-mentioned academic institutions and strive to provide accurate and fair information about all the devices.

What problem does Haptipedia solve?

Haptipedia aims to close the gap between device and interaction designers, accelerate design exploration, and reduce fruitless reinvention. We accomplish this by exposing decades of haptic device inventions that have been buried in the literature and making them easy to search and compare through an open-source visualization and database.

Who is Haptipedia for?

Anyone with an interest in touch technology. In particular, haptic device creators, perception scientists, application and experience designers, and educators who are interested in creating, using, learning, or teaching about grounded force-feedback devices can benefit from the visualization. The interface is meant to be accessible to both beginners and experts in the field, including students, as well as academic and industry researchers and practitioners.

How was the database and visualization developed?

The following image illustrates our iterative process for developing and evaluating Haptipedia.


Our team systematically reviewed major haptic inventions between 1992-2017 and collected input from over 1oo haptic designers. Using information from these two sources, we established a taxonomy of device attributes that addresses needs of designers with various backgrounds by incorporation information on a haptic device’s machine attributes, usage attributes, development context, and design assets. Further, we selected 105 devices for our initial database from three corpuses: 1) haptic venues including IEEE Transactions on Haptics (2008-2017), Haptics Symposium (ASME 1992-2000, IEEE 2002-2016), Eurohaptics (2001-2016), and IEEE World Haptics Conference (2005-2017), 2) major historical haptic inventions published in other venues, and 3) commercial haptic products. We examined documentation on these devices, extracted their attributes, derived interconnections between the devices, and created 3D CAD models of the devices for our database. Haptipedia interface visualizes this database for rapid exploration and search. We have iteratively refined Haptipedia’s device attribute taxonomy, database, and visualization based on input from the haptic community.

Who can edit the data?

Only our internal team of experts can edit the data that is publicly available on the visualization and database. The community, however, can contact us with information on devices and sign up to help with data entry. In each case, our internal expert team will review the provided information and entries before making it available to the public. This helps ensure that the information is correct, clean, and independent of any individual's personal interests.

If you want to edit data for a device, please refer to the Get Involved page for the procedure and contact information.

How are conflicting information about a device resolved and displayed?

We will contact the contributor of the information to provide evidence for their data (e.g., device document, a video of the device in action) and will resolve to the most accurate information. If a case is complicated, we will use the device documentation, followed by the device creator’s data, as our primary source for the visualized attributes, and will include information from other sources in the device summary page.

For further information on the Haptipedia project and our process, please refer to the following open access document:

Hasti Seifi, Farimah Fazlollahi, Michael Oppermann, John Andrew Sastrillo, Jessica Ip, Ashutosh Agrawal, Gunhyuk Park, Katherine J. Kuchenbecker, and Karon E. MacLean. 2019. “Haptipedia: Accelerating Haptic Device Discovery to Support Interaction & Engineering Design”. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Proceedings (CHI 2019), May 4-9, 2019, Glasgow, Scotland Uk. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 12 pages.

Using Haptipedia

The interface is confusing. How can I best use it?

You can watch this introductory video about using the Haptipedia visualization:

I am confused about the meaning of some of the attributes. How can I find a definition?

When you can move your mouse over over an attribute label (in the user experience page), a small ? icon will appear that you can hover over for a brief definition.

I found a device that is useful for my project, how can I obtain the device?

Haptipedia is mainly about discovering devices. Unfortunately we do not have direct links to device creators at the moment but here are some suggestions that may help you:

  • If the device is a commercial product, you can find the company's name and website link in the summary page for the device. They normally have updated contact information listed on their website.
  • If the device is a research prototype, you have two options. You can fabricate the device yourself or contact the device creators. In both cases, you can find the relevant information (e.g., 3D CAD models, or device creator's name and affiliation) on the device summary page.

What resources are available in Haptipedia?

Haptipedia provides three main resources to the community: 1) the visualization interface, 2) an open-source database, 3) device CAD models and videos

  • The visualization: You can use any information available.
  • The database: You can download information about all the devices as a CSV file, use, and analyze it as you want.
  • The CAD models and videos: For each device in the database, we create a 3D CAD model to show the device mechanism, movement, and workspace. Currently, these models are available only for a subset of the devices in our database but this subset is growing every day.

What Haptipedia resources are not available to use and modify?

Each device has several images, videos, and/or 3D models that are provided by the device creators or the community. By default, these files are copyrighted and cannot be used, adapted, or publicly shared. Some contributors use a creative commons license for their files to allow reuse and adaptations of their work. In these cases, you will see small graphic icons beside each file that indicate what uses are permitted by the file owners. The Haptipedia project does not take any responsibility for handling misuse of the files.

What do the small graphics beside a device image, video, 3D model, and other assets mean?

These icons denote the creative commons license associate with the files, and describe what uses are permitted by the file owner. Here is a guide to these icons:


For more information, please visit and

How can I reference Haptipedia?

Please cite the following paper if you use Haptipedia:

Hasti Seifi, Farimah Fazlollahi, Michael Oppermann, John Andrew Sastrillo, Jessica Ip, Ashutosh Agrawal, Gunhyuk Park, Katherine J. Kuchenbecker, and Karon E. MacLean. 2019. “Haptipedia: Accelerating Haptic Device Discovery to Support Interaction & Engineering Design”. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Proceedings (CHI 2019), May 4-9, 2019, Glasgow, Scotland Uk. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 12 pages.

Contributing to Haptipedia

How can I contribute to Haptipedia?

If you see a mistake in device specifications, have additional information (images, videos, measurements) for an existing device, would like to suggest or enter data for a new device, or like to get in touch with the Haptipedia team, please visit the Get Involved page for further information.

For any other questions or concerns, please contact us at