In Barcelona, 2015

Tomohiro Amemiya, Ph.D.

Distinguished Researcher/ Senior Research Scientist

NTT Communication Science Laboratories, Japan

Sensory and Motor Research Group, Human Information Science Laboratory
NTT Communication Science Laboratories
NTT Corporation Atsugi, Kanagawa, Japan


Human spatial navigation

Human Interface

Perception / Sensory illusion


Sense of touch


Underlying mechanism


Assistive technologies

update: Apr. 2016


April 2016, NHK World

An international TV program that introduced our recent research has been broadcasted by NHK World on 28th April, 2016. Now we can watch the online stream. It includes my interview and research history of development of Buru-Navi. Click here to play the video in a new window.
The Wonder of Senses ©Japan International Broadcasting Inc.,

We made a hands-on demonstration at SIGGRAPH 2014 Emerging Tecchnologies. It was the first time to carry the demo to the North American continent. If you missed it, you can find a very thought-provoking article of my interview, "Could “Force Illusions” Help Wearables Catch On? " written by John Pavlus, in MIT Technology Review. It provides Spanish and Italian versions (also Polish and Greek versions in other web portal).

Another interview "“Force Illusions” Could Help the Visually Impaired" written by Ayesha Salim, also uploaded in IDG Connect.


The size of the one-DoF force display (top one) is greatly decreased by 95% (to 18x18x37 mm3) compared with the earlier one. The weight of the one-DoF force display is greatly decreased by 92% (to 19 g). Using two orthogonally placed actuators allows the holders to feel a force sensation in the four or eight principal directions on the azimuth plane (bottom one).

Fishing game with Buru-Navi3

Are you satisfied with a nibbling sensation created by conventional fishing games? If not, try Buru-Navi3.


If you need some Buru-Navi3's manuscripts, please visit [SIGGRAPH 2014] [EuroHaptics 2014]

More details


update: Jan 2017

Selected Papers

  • Tomohiro Amemiya, Brianna Beck, Vinvent Walsh, Hiroaki Gomi, Patrick Haggard, "Visual area V5/hMT+ contributes to perception of tactile motion direction: a TMS study", Scientific Reports Vol. 7, 40937, Jan. 2017.
  • Tomohiro Amemiya, Hiroaki Gomi, "Actively Pulling or Being Passively Pulled: Active Manual Movement Improves Directional Perception of Illusory Force", IEEE Transactions on Haptics, Vol. 9, Nov. 2016 (accepted).
  • Tomohiro Amemiya, Hiroaki Gomi, "Buru-Navi3: Behavioral Navigations Using Illusory Pulled Sensation Created by Thumb-sized Vibrator", In Proc. of ACM SIGGRAPH 2014 Emerging Technologies, Article 4, Vancouver, Canada, August 2014.
  • Tomohiro Amemiya, Hiroaki Gomi, "Distinct pseudo-attraction force sensation by a thumb-sized vibrator that oscillates asymmetrically", In Proc. of Eurohaptics 2014, Versailles, France, June 2014.
    [Best Demonstration Award, 1st place]
    [Best Poster Nominee, 3rd place]
  • Tomohiro Amemiya, Hiroaki Gomi, "Directional Torque Perception with Brief, Asymmetric Net Rotation of a Flywheel", IEEE Transactions on Haptics, Vol. 6, No. 3, pp.370-375, 2013.
  • Yasushi Ikei, Koji Abe, Koichi Hirota, Tomohiro Amemiya, "A Multisensory VR System Exploring the Ultra-Reality", In Proc. of 18th International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia (VSMM 2012), pp.71-78, Milan, Italy, September 2012.
    [Best Paper Award]
  • Tomohiro Amemiya, Hisashi Sugiyama, "Orienting Kinesthetically: A Haptic Handheld Wayfinder for People with Visual Impairments", ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing, Vol. 3, No. 2, Article 6, pp. 1-23, November 2010.
  • Tomohiro Amemiya, Hideyuki Ando, Taro Maeda, "Lead-Me Interface for a Pulling Sensation from Hand-held Devices", ACM Transactions on Applied Perception, Vol. 5, No. 3, Article 15, pp.1-17, August 2008.
  • Tomohiro Amemiya, Taro Maeda, "Asymmetric Oscillation Distorts the Perceived Heaviness of Handheld Objects", IEEE Transactions on Haptics, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 9-18, Jan-Jun, 2008.
  • Tomohiro Amemiya, Hideyuki Ando, Taro Maeda, "Buru-Navi", Laval, France, April 2007.
    [Laval Virtual Trophies, "GrandPrix" Award]
    aval Virtual Trophies, Interfaces de realite virtuelle Award]
  • Tomohiro Amemiya, Hideyuki Ando, Taro Maeda, "Hand-held Force Display with Spring-Cam Mechanism for Generating Asymmetric Acceleration", In Proc. of World Haptics Conference 2007 (2nd Joint Eurohaptics Conference and Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems), pp. 572-573, Tsukuba, March 2007.
    [Best Poster Nominee]
  • Tomohiro Amemiya, Hideyuki Ando, Taro Maeda, "Perceptual Attraction Force: The Sixth Force", ACM SIGGRAPH 2006 Emerging Technologies, p. 26, Boston, July 2006.

Research topics

Buru-Navi3: Thumb-sized vibrator to create a sensory illusion of being pulled 2014-

We have created a thumb-sized prototype device that can effectively provide a pulling sensation, which is induced by the characteristics of human illusion.

  • T. Amemiya, H. Gomi, In Proc. of Eurohaptics 2014, 2014.
Best Demonstration Award

NTT Communication Science Labs.

Crossmodal effect: Tactile Apparent Motion on Seat Pan Modulates Perceived Forward Velocity of Self-Motion  2012-

We clarified whether a tactile flow created by a matrix of vibrators in a seat pan simultaneously presented with an optical flow in peripheral vision enhances the perceived forward velocity of self-motion.

  • T. Amemiya, K. Hirota, Y. Ikei, Trans. of VRSJ, 18(2), pp.121-130, June 2013. (in Japanese)
Outstanding paper award

NTT Communication Science Labs / The University of Tokyo / Tokyo Metropolitan University

Smartphone-based Instruction System for Chest Compression Movement in CPR  2011-2012   

We developed an application using sensors in a smartphone to estimate a user's chest compression motion in performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

  • T. Amemiya, T. Maeda, Journal of Japan Society for Fuzzy Theory and Intelligent Informatics, 25(4), pp. 819-825, Aug 2013. (in Japanese)

NTT Communication Science Labs./Osaka University/JST

Multisensory VR System Exploring the Ultra-Reality 2010-

To provide a framework for realization of "ultra reality", we developed prototypes of multisensory display system, which enabled the user to share experience of sightseeing or playing sports.

  • Y. Ikei, K. Abe, K. Hirota, T. Amemiya, In Proc. of VSMM 2012, pp.71-78, 2012.
Best Paper Award

Tokyo Metropolitan University/University of Tokyo/NTT Communication Science Labs

Buru-Navi2: Disk-shaped Vibrator for Pedestrian Navigation System 2010-

We developed a disk-shaped two-degrees-of-freedom force display.

  • T. Amemiya, H. Gomi, In Proc. of ACM SIGGRAPH 2012 Poster, Article No. 68, August 2012.

NTT Communication Science Labs.

Haptic Handheld Wayfinder for People with Visual Impairments  2007-2009

We present the design of a new haptic direction indicator, whose purpose is to help blind pedestrians travel a path and avoid hazards intuitively and safely by means of haptic navigation.

  • T. Amemiya, H. Sugiyama, ACM Trans. Accessible Computing, 3(2), Article 6, pp. 1-23, 2010.
  • Amemiya, H. Sugiyama, IEICE technical report, May. 2009.
Human Communication Award

NTT Communication Science Labs./Kyoto City Fire Department

Location-free Haptic Interaction for Large-Area Social Applications 2007-2008

We propose and develop an interactive force-sensation-based navigation system for waiters based on a force perception technology, Buru-Navi.

  • T. Amemiya, T. Maeda, H. Ando, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 13(5), pp. 379-386, Springer, June 2009.
  • T.Amemiya, H.Ando, T.Maeda, In Proc. of HIS2007, pp. 685-688, Sep. 2007. (in Japanese)
Best Presentation Award

NNTT Communication Science Labs.

Vibration-Weight Illusion: Asymmetric Oscillation Distorts the Perceived Heaviness of Handheld Objects 2007-2008

Our experimental results show that the perceived weight of an object vibrating with asymmetric acceleration increases compared to that with symmetric acceleration when the acceleration peaks in the gravity direction. In contrast, almost no heaviness perception change was observed in the anti-gravity direction.

  • T. Amemiya, T. Maeda, IEEE Trans. Haptics, 1(1), pp. 9-18,2008.

NTT Communication Science Labs.

Hand-held Force Display with Spring-Cam Mechanism for Generating Asymmetric Acceleration  2007

We introduced a spring-cam mechanism to generate acceleration profiles of any shape and is suitable for miniaturization.

  • T. Amemiya, H. Ando, T. Maeda, In Proc. of World Haptics Conference 2007, pp. 572-573, 2007.
Best Poster Nominee

NTT Communication Science Labs.

Tactile Duration Compression by Vibrotactile Adaptation 2006-

Our results showed that periods of vibration seem compressed when presented to a region of the skin surface adapted earlier to higher frequencies.

  • J. Watanabe, T. Amemiya, S. Nishida, A. Johnston, NeuroReport 21(13), pp. 856-860, August 2010.

NTT Communication Science Labs./JST/University College London

Buru-Navi: "Lead-Me" Interface for a Pulling Sensation from Hand-held Devices 2004-2009

This is the first prototype to create a sensory illusion of being pulled by periodic translational motion with asymmetric aceleration.

  • T. Amemiya, H. Ando, T. Maeda, ACM Trans. Applied Perception, 5(3), 15, 1-17, 2008.
  • T. Amemiya, H. Ando, T. Maeda,"Buru-Navi", Laval Virtual, France, April 2007.
Grand Prix du Jury

NTT Communication Science Labs.

OBOE:  Oboe-like Braille Input Interface 2004-2005

We developed a mobile interface for textual input designed on the basis of the Braille input method.

  • T. Amemiya, K. Hirota, M. Hirose, In Proc. of 9th International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP 2004), pp. 498-505, 2005.

The University of Tokyo

 Outdoor Positioning System using High-Density Active RFID Grids 2003-2004

We developed a positioning system consisting of floor-embedded active radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags in an area of 1,700m2.

  • T. Amemiya, J. Yamashita, K. Hirota, M. Hirose, In Proc. of IEEE VR 2004, pp. 165-172, 2004.

The University of Tokyo

 Wearable Finger-Braille Interface: Verbal and non-verbal communication 2002-2004

We propose the navigation system called Virtual Leading Blocks for the Deaf-Blind, which consists of a wearable interface for Finger-Braille, one of the commonly used communication methods among Deaf-Blind people in Japan.

  • T. Amemiya, J. Yamashita, K. Hirota, M. Hirose, In Proc. of IEEE Virtual Reality Conference 2004 (VR 2004), pp. 165-172, March 2004.
  • T. Amemiya, K. Hirota, M. Hirose, Trans. of VRSJ, 9(3), 207-216, 2004. (in Japanese)
Outstanding paper award

The University of Tokyo


Was appointed a Distinguished Researcher
I was appointed a distinguished researcher, a title given to innovative researchers who have been recognized as outstanding both within and outside NTT. (2 April 2015)
Paper acceptance
I will have presentations at ACM SIGGRAPH Emerging Technologies 2014, EuroHaptics 2014 and so on.(29 May 2014)
Visiting Scholar at UCL
I am currently working at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London as a research associate for Prof. Patrick Haggard.(25 Mar 2014)
Presentations at IEEE VR/3DUI
I finished four oral/poster presentations at IEEE VR 2013 and IEEE 3DUI 2013. (22 Mar 2013)
Won the Best Paper Award
I received the best paper award in VSMM. Mainly Ikei lab's members in Tokyo Metropolitan Univ. have contributed it. (16 Sep 2012)
Presentation at SIGGRAPH 2012
I presented a poster and had a talk (DCAJ session, the presenter will be Dr. Tsuchida) in ACM SIGGRAPH 2012. (3 Aug 2012)
One-day lecture at the University of Tokyo
I lectured on "Technology and Contents" at the University of Tokyo. (11 July 2012)
My original paper was published in IEEE Trans. Haptics
My paper about torque perception was accepted in IEEE Transactions on Haptics. (26 Feb 2012)
Oral presentation & Hands-on demo

I will make an oral presentation at 20th Anniversary NTT CS Labs. Open House. (5 June 2011)
-Oral presentation
-Hands-on Demo

My original paper was published in TACESS.
My paper was published in ACM Trans. Accessible Computing 3(2) (Special issue on ASSETS2009). (30 Nov 2010)
I uploaded some movies of my research. (18 Nov 2010)
I appeared in Hong Kong Economic Times
My research work and interview appeared in Hong Kong daily newspaper. (28 July 2010)
ICT for the Future R&D Forum
Exhibition in HongKong (16 July 2010)
Workshop Co-chair
I participated to the organization of VRIC 2010 conference, co-chair of Workshop on “Recent Advances in Haptic Interaction”. (8 April 2010)
Organized the WIT 52th meeting (domestic)
I organized the 52th SIG Well-being Information Technology (WIT), which held in NTT Musashino R&D Center. (12 March 2010)
The first VR text book was published.
I partially wrote the "haptic rendering" section. (25 Jan 2010)
Received the HCS award
I received the award of Human Communication Group, IEICE Society. (12 Feb 2009)
Buru-Navi appeared in Asahi Shinbun.
Buru-Navi was introduced in the news paper. (17 Oct 2009)
My original paper was published.

My paper was published in Personal and Ubiquitous Computing. (10 June 2009)

In addition to NTT Atsugi R&D Center Exhibition Hall, Buru-Navi was introduce in NTT Musashino R&D Center. (1 April 2009)
Buru-Navi appeared in a web news (Sankei).
Our research appeared in Sankei Business-i. (16 March 2009)
Received the HI meeting award
I received the annual meeting award of Human Interface Society. (13 Feb 2009)
My original paper was published in ASME.
My paper was published in J. Comput. Inf.Sci.Eng. (ASME) and won the second place of monthly download ranking. (10 Feb 2009)
Presentation at URCF meeting
I made a presentation at SIG meeting of URCF. (3 Feb 2009)
My paper was published and appeared in the cover.
My paper was published in ACM Trans. on Applied Perception. Buru-Navi also appeared in the cover page. (16 Sep 2008)
Presentation at a Science Café
I made a presentation and discussion in Science Café "- Man Machine Interface ". See also [web news] . (14 Sep 2008)
My paper was published in the first issue of IEEE ToH.
My paper was published in IEEE Transactions on Haptics Vol.1, No.1. (15 July 2008)
Tutorial speaker in IEEE VR 2008
I made a presentation as a tutorial speaker in IEEE VR 2008 Tutorial "Integration of Haptics in Virtual Environments: from Perception to Rendering. (9 March 2008)

Contact information

amemiya.tomohiro (at)
NTT CSL, 3-1 Morinosato Wakamiya, Atsugi,
Kanagawa, 243-0198 JAPAN
If you are interested in collaborating with me or if you have got any questions, please contact me on the address above.


Media coverage includes:

Nikkei Electronics, Japan Tech Crunch Mashable CNET HongKong Economics New Scientist MIT Technology Review WBS, Japan Channel News Asia, Singapore NHK, Japan IDG Connect Morning Bird!, Japan TV Tokyo, Japan Fuji TV, Japan BS Japan AXIS, Japan Nikkei Trendy, Japan Fami-Tsu, Japan Nikkei Asahi Nikkan Kogyo Nikkei Sangyo KBS Kyoto, Japan TV Osaka, Japan Nikkei Computer, Japan Minpo, Hong Kong mono Magazine, Japan New Architecture, Japan @Dime, Japan CG World Minpo Mainichi Yomiuri MyNavi News, Japan EE Times Japan NETORABO ASCII 4gamer impress Radio IT Pro
update: August 2014

Also featured in

Buru-Navi3 appeared in a book of Doraemon, a traditional and famous Japanese manga. (July 2014). ドラえもん もっと!ふしぎのサイエンス Vol.4
I was introduced in a job-introduction book for kids as a basic researcher in a tele-communication company, written by Daisuke Matsui (May 9, 2012).
I appeared in these pages
I was introduced in NTT Group in Facebook soon after the site was just opened. (June 17, 2011).
Buru-Navi was introduced in Advanced Technology judging from Keyword, NTT Group official website.
NTT Group