1st July 2024 – 10:30 am
EEG frequency tagging to explore the neural basis of haptic processing

André Mouraux
Professor Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium)
Institute of Neuroscience (IoNS), UCLouvain

Short Bio

André Mouraux (UCLouvain) heads a research group exploring the cortical processes underlying thermonociception and touch in humans using scalp and intracerebral electroencephalography combined with novel techniques to characterise brain responses to transient and sustained thermosensory and mechanosensory stimulation and non-invasive neuromodulation techniques. Recently, he has developed an original approach based on EEG frequency tagging to characterise somatosensory processing in conditions of active touch. In addition, he aims to better understand peripheral and central sensitisation of the nociceptive system and its involvement in the development of chronic pain (

1st July 2024 – 4:00 Pm
The Synergy of Haptics and Human Experience: A Journey Through Innovation

Manuel Cruz
Chief Scientist and Head of the Human Machine Interface Laboratory, Innovobot

Short Bio

Manuel Cruz is the Chief Scientist and Head of the Human Machine Interface Laboratory (HMI) at Innovobot Labs and a pioneer of haptics technology. He is also the president of the Haptics Industry Forum, a not-for-profit organization that creates and streamlines haptics standards and adoption. He has over 25 years of technology industry knowledge, coupled with ground-breaking achievements in HMI and haptics research. He has developed haptic technologies for the medical, automotive, gaming, XR, and mobility sectors. He is a prolific inventor and is named in over 250 US granted and pending patents in the areas of sensing, actuation, and control; as Chief Scientist at Innovobot Labs, Manuel is responsible for developing top-level strategies to establish Innovobot Labs as a go-to resource in the marketplace. In addition to overseeing and supporting all HMI Lab projects, Manuel builds partnerships with various organizations within the private and public sectors, as well as academia.

2nd July 2024 – 10:30 am
Insights from inside nerves: the way mechanoreceptors really respond touch and how we can use this in haptics

Rochelle Ackerley
Research Director (DR CNRS), PhD HDR
Centre de recherche en psychologie et neuroscience (CRPN, UMR7077), CNRS – Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France


Hearing the firing of mechanoreceptors to touching someone’s skin is captivating. Every different contact makes its own specific sound, together producing a symphony that we feel. My research focuses on touch and it helps us interact with the world around us, using a combination of physiological, behavioral, and neuroimaging approaches. Specifically, I use microneurography to record from and stimulate single axons in peripheral nerves in humans. My talk will show the complexities of the encoding of touch by peripheral receptors, where we need to open up ideas on how the body actually signals contact. Although mechanoreceptors in the skin play a major role, other receptors, including thermoreceptors, nociceptors, and proprioceptors need to be taken into account in haptic devices. Further, the skin is highly heterogenous and this also needs to be considered when designing haptics. I will cover the specific roles of different afferents in the skin and what excites them most. As well as giving a neurophysiological overview, the talk will focus on different aspects of naturalistic touch, where often very subtle signals can produce clear sensations, which can be maximized for haptic design.

Short Bio

Rochelle Ackerley is a director of research (professor) at the CNRS, based at Aix-Marseille University in France. Her work on somatosensation spans various body inputs, including discriminative touch, affective touch, haptics, temperature, and proprioception. She gained a PhD in Physiology in 2006 from the University of Bristol in the UK and she has worked in both industry and academia. She uses the technique of microneurography, to explore the activity of peripheral nerves in humans, combining this with neuroimaging and behavioural experiments. She learned the technique of microneurography in Sweden, looking at responses from A-beta mechanoreceptive afferents and C-tactile afferents, extending this to investigate muscle afferents in France. She has published over 50 papers and has ERC Consolidator grant, as well as national and industrial funding.

3rd July 2024 – 10:30 am
From wearable haptics to the new frontiers of telerobotics

Antonio Frisoli
Professor, Institute of Mechanical Intelligence, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa Italy


The talk  will review the evolution in technology principles and new trends of research in the area of wearable haptics and exoskeletons, that is gaining more and more attention for its seamless integration with extended reality.

Then it will introduce the new challenges of telerobotics and telemanipulation for robotic avatars and humanoid robotics, where haptics can provide a crucial role for applications in remote distance control, learning of manipulation skills and telemedicine applications.

Short Bio

Antonio Frisoli is a Full Professor in Robotics  at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa- Italy where he holds the roles of Head of the Human Robot Interaction (HRI) area and acts also as the President of the Italian National competence center on Robotics Artes 4.0. His research interests are in the area of wearable haptics, haptic devices and exoskeleton design,  advanced human-machine and human-robot interaction, rehabilitation robotics, collaborative robotics and telerobotics.
Antonio Frisoli is a senior member of IEEE (the Institute of Electric and Electronics Engineers), and he is currently Associate Editor for  Frontiers in Computer Science – Human-Media Interaction and Frontiers in Robotics and AI-Human-Robot Interaction, and was the former  general for Eurohaptics 2018 in Pisa.