Digital Clay is an NSF funded project for human machine communication through a tangible haptic surface actuated by fluid power. Digital Clay's hardware can be divided into three subsystems: massive actuator-sensor array, fluidic driving system, and control system. The main focus of this paper is on the control issues of the massive actuator array of Digital Clay. Categorized by the function of control algorithms, the control system can be further divided into three levels: cell control, surface control, and user application interface. Analysis and testing results of above introduced topics are provided based on a 5×5 actuator array prototype. Most of the topics discussed in this paper are widely applicable not just for this specific device.

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