Exomain gives a sense of touch to virtual reality
North American society Dexta Robotics has developed a hand exoskeleton that generates a sensation of touching a virtual prototype environment. The system is currently still very rudimentary but promising.
On the left, the exomain Dexmo Classic manufactured by Dexta Robotics. It can animate and control a virtual hand. On the right, the Dexmo F2 and feedback system which gives effect the sense of touch model. Both boxes located at the thumb and index finger generate mechanical strength when the avatar of the hand encounters a virtual object. The system is limited for now to "on-off" mode, explain its designers, which means that it does not perceive nuances depending on the type of virtual object hit.
Whether playful or scientists, applications of virtual reality continue to demonstrate their full potential, with sometimes surprising examples: make palpable a virtual object , observe their own brain activity or help archaeologists to save a site. The acquisition in March the company Oculus Rift by Facebook for 2 billion is another important signal for the development of a mass market. Remember that this sapling California markets since 2012 a prototype virtual reality helmet reserved for the moment, to developers.
She has also just introduced a new version of its device called Crescent Bay which is accompanied by a series of applications. " We believe that one day, this type of augmented reality immersive will be part of everyday life for billions of people , "said at redemption Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook. While great strides have been made ??in the visual and auditory immersion, a crucial sensory barrier remains. This is the touch which is currently crudely rendered by vibrations or sounds. But a North American company, Dexta Robotics offers a more attractive option.
The exomain Dexmo F2 here in action. With boxes placed on the thumb and forefinger, the user feels a resistance when manipulating virtual objects. In this demonstration, it allows him to precisely control two robotic arms perceiving an effect back when the clamps grab something.
The Dexmo are still rudimentary but affordable
This company has developed an exoskeleton hand that is able to provide feedback effect to the user manipulates a virtual object. The Dexmo F2 is a derivative of a first model named exomain Dexmo Classic prototype. Five grandchildren and motorized articulated arms are attached to the ends of the fingers and pick up all the movements of the hands (11 degrees of freedom). With a kit software , developers can control a virtual hand with loyalty with exomain. In this technology, the Dexmo F2 adds a feedback system effect to produce a sensation of touch. These two housings containing a brake system miniaturized disc.
When the avatar that you control enters or touches a virtual object, the exomain generates resistance in the thumb or index finger, as it would with a real object. Admittedly, the system is fairly rudimentary as it does not feel the hardness of an object or material. In addition, the effect return applies only two fingers. But this exomain has the advantage of being inexpensive since Dexta Robotics account the market via a KickStarter campaign for less than 200 dollars (158 euros at current prices). This solution is certainly still far from what can be done in a few years, but it could be quickly improved as long as Dexta Robotics plays the opening with the community of virtual reality applications developers.