Feel the weight in your hands.
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) experimented with various forms of force feedback for virtual reality (VR) applications last year introducing the Wind-Blaster peripheral device, a force-modeling device. Recently, the institute presented its latest development – Aero-Plane, designed for bulk modeling.
While Aero-Plane tied two fans to the user’s hand, for direct and reverse air explosions, Aero-Plane takes these fans and attaches them to the controller device, providing continuous air flow. This should help create the illusion of weight in a virtual object, as well as mass displacement.
Traditional tactile devices, such as the current set of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive motion controllers, have a basic vibration function, giving players more communication with the game’s experience. Aero-Plane takes this step further, so when you lift an item, it will appear heavy, or when carrying an unstable load, the weight may move, which must be compensated.
In the KAIST demo video, the team uses a ball rolling along a 2D plane. In this case, the user can accurately index where this ball is rolling. They explain that the Aero-plane is: “a manual controller with power feedback based on two miniature jet propellers that can display a weight offset of up to 14 N in 0.3 seconds.”
There are many other power feedback device applications such as this, a good example is firing range. The weapon will have various processing characteristics, such as size, weight and recoil. A device like Aero-Plane can mimic some, if not all, of these effects.
Obviously, at this stage, Aero-Plane is still a very simple prototype, rather bulky and with a lot of cables coming from it.
If you are interested in the force-feedback technology you can buy now, there is always a pretty impressive Dexta Robotics Dexmo Enterprise Edition force feedback glove that went on sale in June. Manus Prime Haptic, the company’s flagship corporate product that sells for € 5,000 EUR, also holds a leading position among tactile gloves.
VRcue will continue to cover the latest news regarding tactile devices, reporting any further changes.