PH-CODING will set the stage for the next generation of ultra-intuitive user interfaces for applications in virtual reality and remote operation by resolving critical scientific gaps and generating corresponding technological solutions in haptics. Developing intuitive user function requires understanding and appealing to the fundamentals of brain operation in its bodily interaction with the environment. The major difference between the brain and present-day interfaces is the incredibly rich and diversified representations that are possible in the brain.

Richer representations allow for diversified behaviours that is the origin of people’s experiences of a meaningful existence. A major shortcoming in user interfaces, today, is their poor intuitiveness and their failure to match up with a rich and diversified responsiveness. PH-CODING aims to overcome these limitations by designing bidirectional interfaces with high-dimensional functionality. By interfacing in an intelligent way with natural haptic processes, the machine can be made to directly communicate with the deeper, diversified intentions of the user.

Main goal

The main scientific advance anticipated in PH-CODING is a revolution in the understanding of human haptics perception. The entailed technological advance is rich haptic sensing in artificially intelligent robotics, new potential applications in neurology, high-density sensor sheets in bendable electronics and above all a new generation of ultra-intuitive, broadband information user touch-interfaces.


The work is highly interdisciplinary and involves four partners with unique, complementary competences. Research methodology at Lund university is focused on the analysis of the principles of organisation in brain haptic systems. Actronika is world-leading in the analysis of skin shear forces, which is the fundamental means by which physical interactions with the environment generate skin sensor activation. This analysis, enabled by dedicated interfaces developed at Actronika, has led to several major breakthroughs in the understanding of haptic interactions. University of Glasgow possesses world-leading competence for the design of artificial skin. Such skin will be used both in the design of novel haptic interfaces, which are equipped with a high number of sensors that make it possible to detect many nuances, or dimensions, of user input force at the contact surface. It will also be used to develop a robot with rich and robust haptic sensing, which can recognize objects and manipulate them in a skilful way. This robotic system will be implemented by Imperial College London, which has world leading competence in developing computational models of human sensorimotor control and transfer them to novel robotic behaviours.

Read more about the members of PH-CODING.


Objective 1: The science of haptic perception, emanating in a set of rules describing how shear force patterns in the skin define the relationships between skin sensors; how the resulting spatiotemporal patterns of skin sensor activation can generate saliency signals in neocortical neuronal circuitry and the principles of how the internal state variation in the neocortex can influence the encoding and perception of a given skin sensor pattern.

Objective 2: The design of eSkin, emanating in a functional, soft material-embedded and highly sensorised artificial skin with stand-alone mechanisms for high bandwidth data transfer.

Objective 3: The implementation of the haptic perception science in the artificial intelligence system (AIS) of a robot.

Objective 4: The first generation of practical solutions of a totally new family of active haptic interfaces.