ive finished my master's thesis mid 2017 and was able to gain several new findings about haptic perception in virtual reality. some of the findings have been published on the 23rd ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden which can be read here: ACM Digital Libray. Since there are still many findings that has not been published yet, i will continue working on that topic within the next few month. After finishing my thesis ive been awarded with the “AESCULAP” award for exceptionally innovative work on my thesis.

enjoy reading!

idea

virtual realities are closer to real life then ever before. immersive environments faciliate unique experiences:
from phobia-therapies to peerless ways of communication, virtual realities already comply with these requirements.
todays challenges, and the focus of my work is, how to integrate classical, well known haptic feedback into those
mixed / substituted / virtual realities and how one can interpret them from this new point of view.

so the main questions i want to ask right now are:

  • how far may the visual impression (within the vr) differ with what users feel?
  • can you minimize the scope by varying the temperature or the weight?
  • does the room (ambiance) within the virtual reality influence the acceptance?

01 - setup

the basic idea of my experiment is, to build my own peripheral devices which can be mapped within a virtual space to determine the possiblity of substituting haptic sensations within the virtual reality. to portray a large spectrum of haptic sensations, i built three different cubes . cube 1 is made of standard wooden mdf plates, cube 2 is built out of aluminium and cube 3 is made from PMMA (also known as acrylic glass) with the dimension of 150mm x 150mm x 150mm. to ensure that all of the cubes have the same weight, the respective faces of the cubes vary in thickness, so that each of the cubes weights about 700g. within the cube there is an arduino board with a ble chip, a gyro and an accelerometer to measure the cubes orientation and to send the data wireless to a computer. it it supplied by a standard 9 V Batterie to let it work fully self-sufficient. to receive information about the relative orientation of the users arms to the cube, htc vive controllers are attached to them.

what its about
cubes with microcontroller
seeing the cubes for the first time
technical drawing of the whole cube
technical drawing of the arduino mount within the cube
technical drawing of the 9V block mount within the cube

02 - arduino

> first time tracking (gyro) setup with the genuino 101. here you can see the virtual / abstract genuino following the real genuino's movement