This paper is the first review of haptic optical tweezers, a new technique which associates force feedback teleoperation with optical tweezers. This technique allows users to explore the microworld by sensing and exerting picoNewton-scale forces with trapped microspheres. Haptic optical tweezers also allow improved dexterity of micromanipulation and micro-assembly. One of the challenges of this technique is to sense and magnify picoNewton-scale forces by a factor of 10(12) to enable human operators to perceive interactions that they have never experienced before, such as adhesion phenomena, extremely low inertia, and high frequency dynamics of extremely small objects. The design of optical tweezers for high quality haptic feedback is challenging, given the requirements for very high sensitivity and dynamic stability. The concept, design process, and specification of optical tweezers reviewed here are focused on those intended for haptic teleoperation. In this paper, two new specific designs as well as the current state-of-the-art are presented. Moreover, the remaining important issues are identified for further developments. The initial results obtained are promising and demonstrate that optical tweezers have a significant potential for haptic exploration of the microworld. Haptic optical tweezers will become an invaluable tool for force feedback micromanipulation of biological samples and nano- and micro-assembly parts.