Soft Robotic Glove Lets Wearers Interact With VR Environments
Currently, VR user interfaces consist of remote-like devices that provide haptic feedback whenever a virtual object is touched. This, according to UC San Diego researcher Jurgen Schulze, just isn’t realistic. Elaborating, he claims that, “You can’t touch anything, or feel resistance when you’re pushing a button.”
To help overcome this limitation, a team of UCSD Jacobs engineers are using soft robotic component called “McKibben muscles” to simulate tactile feedback via air pressure in a set of gloves. Connected to a circuit board, these gloves work by applying tension to specific fingers when inflated, mimicking the forces that the user would encounter in the VR environment.
The system — which also employs a Leap Motion sensor for detecting the position and movement of a wearer’s hands — was described as “mesmerizing” and “amazing” when used to play a virtual piano.
You can read more about the project here, and see a demo of it below!