Can you feel the wall? Simulating objects in virtual reality

May 21, 2017, 8:31 a.m. By: Vishakha Jha

VR Simulating

There are so many devices designed to make virtual world more realistic through physical sensation. They mimic the sensation but don’t create any impact of structure or surrounding like walls or doors. Till now nothing happens when you walk through the walls or doors in virtual reality but soon you will be able to feel your muscles getting shocked when you enter into a barrier because of a new research project that aims to simulate walls and other objects in virtual reality.

This expansion on the VR experience uses electrical muscle stimulation to deliver sensation to the user’s muscles while interacting with an object. The effect is created using haptic feedback, which uses force or vibration to recreate a sense of touch or interaction. A team of researchers at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, Germany, created a simple wearable that uses electrical muscle to deliver sensation to user’s muscles. The setup includes up to eight electrodes which are linked to a medical eight-channel muscle stimulator, which is controlled by the VR simulator. The team found that they could artificially create a counter force against a physical object, by triggering opposing muscle and their design uses pulses of about 200-300 milliseconds long which is too brief so it cannot be rationalized.

In one test as the user lifts a virtual cube, the opposition muscle groups are shocked. If the cube is heavier, then the system can apply more electrical stimulation, by increasing the counter force generated by the system.

Till now the system is limited to the upper body, but as per the research team soon, it could be applied to a range of other muscles.

Image Source: Earth Chronicles News