This Singularity Hub article looks at the Cyber Motion formula 1 simulator which puts the driving at the end of an enormous industrial robot arm. From the article: "Give engineers any excuse, and they’re going to find a way to combine robots and video games. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics created a top notch formula one simulator, called Cyber Motion, that puts the driving at the end of an enormous industrial robot arm. Why?
This Singularity Hub article reports Japanese electronics firm NTT DoCoMo unveiled a prototype device combining a glassless 3D display with a physical feedback system that pushes on a magnetic pen. From the article: "Japanese electronics firm NTT DoCoMo unveiled a cool new way to interact with the objects on your portable screen at the CEATEC conference this past week. The unnamed prototype device combines glassless 3D display with a physical feedback system that pushes on a magnetic pen. You hold the stylus pen near the display screen and when virtual objects want to reach out and touch you, you can feel it through forces on the pen. Haptic technology is already making its way into mobile phones with simple vibration responses.
This Japan Technology Information article looks at the i3Space: a system which provides the user with feeling of touch as well as resistance in the air when the user views the 3D images (haptization), as well as facilitates direct manipulation of virtual objects of 3D images with fingers through three-dimensionalization of multi-touch operations. From the article: "Group of researches at AIST has developed the i3Space, a system that creates a virtual reality (VR) space.
This Laboratory Equipment article reports researchers at the Computer Vision Lab at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, have developed a method with which they can produce virtual copies of real objects. From the article: "By incorporating the sense of touch, the user can delve deeper into virtual reality.
Sending a friend a virtual birthday present, or quickly beaming a new product over to a customer in America to try out - it sounds like science fiction, but this is what researchers at the Computer Vision Lab want to make possible, with the aid of new technology. Their first step was to successfully transmit a virtual object to a spatially remote person, who could not only see the object, but also feel it and move it.
Incorporating all the senses
This Technology Review article describes a floor giving tactile, audio and visual feedback. From the article: "Researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada have developed floor tiles that can simulate the look, sound and feel of snow, grass or pebbles underfoot. Such a tool could perhaps be used for augmented reality applications, tele-presence, training, rehabilitation or even as virtual foot controllers.
The modular "haptic" floor tiling system is made up of a deformable plate suspended on a platform. Between the plate and platform are sensors that detect forces from the user's foot. And the plate can give off vibrations that mimic the feeling of stepping on different materials. A top-down projection and speakers add visual and audio feedback.
From this Wired Science article: " New pilots train on flight simulators before flying their first 757. Scientists experiment on animals before giving their new drug to patients. And fledgling surgeons perform their first few operations on… real people.
Now, a small but growing group of doctors are trying to make surgical training safer by bringing virtual reality into the operating room, and taking the trial-by-error out.
This ZDNet article talks about a haptic jacket lined with vibration motors that influences emotional immersion. From the article: "Imagine watching Apocalypto and feeling the pounding heart of the escaping protagonist tribesman on your own chest? That’s now possible with a haptic jacket lined with vibration motors that researchers demoed at last week’s IEEE-sponsored 2009 World Haptics Conference in Salt Lake City.
The jacket, created by Philips Electronics, is meant to study the effects of touch on a movie viewer’s emotional response to what the characters are experiencing. It is not meant to translate blows like kicks and punches, although it can simulate outside forces. Their goal is to investigate emotional immersion.
Sébastien Kuntz, from a VR Geek Blob, got the opportunity to try the Virtusphere. From his blog post: "A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to test the Virtusphere for two days and could since watch several beginners try this device.
The Virtusphere is a 2.6m polycarbonate sphere of 120kg lying on wheels, with an incredibly sophisticated movement detection device below (a mouse!), used as a virtual reality locomotion device.
You enter the sphere by a small hatch, and are instructed to take small steps first. So a small step you make, and the sphere starts to roll, and you make another step to keep balance, and .. you’re walking! During the first session you might even be able to run, and a lot of people did! Especially girls who generally perform better than guys.
This Physorg.com article takes a look at the CyberWalk treadmill project at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics. From the article: "Imagine being able to take a step back in time and walk through the streets of ancient Pompeii hours before the eruption of Vesuvius. In April 2008, European researchers will demonstrate that walking through virtual environments is set to be a reality.
“In the virtual environment you have flight simulators, car simulators, but the most natural way of locomotion for humans is walking and this was practically impossible,” says Marc Ernst, the coordinator of the CyberWalk project at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics.
This NewScientistTech article takes a look at a new system using a camera to detect blood moving under the fingernail which can make almost any object touch sensitive. From the article: "Pressure-sensitive touch interfaces are common, but they usually require a smooth surface, with sensors on or beneath its surface. This is fine for simple and robust devices such as laptop touchpads, but it makes adding touch-sensitivity to irregular or fragile objects practically impossible.
However, a new system developed at the University of Nottingham, UK, can do just that. Unlike other systems, it detects the effect of touch on the finger, not the surface being touched. It works by using a simple video camera to observe the movement of blood under a person's fingernails.