ACTIVE-Hand: Automatic Configurable Tactile Interaction in Virtual Environment

by | Sep 4, 2012

Authors: You Wu, Lara Schmidt, Matthew Parker, John Strong, Michael Bruns, Vinayak Karthik Ramani
Proceedings of the ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference

Abstract: We present a novel, low-power and untethered pneumatic haptic device, namely the ACTIVE-Hand, for realistic and real-time 3D gaming experience. Currently, body-motion based 3D gaming systems primarily use visual feedback to provide partly immersive gaming experiences. Tactile feedback systems in Virtual Reality provide immersion with high tactile resolution, but they are expensive and difficult to setup and calibrate. The conceptually economical modular design of the ACTIVE-Hand allows easily configurable tactile feedback as per application requirements. Contrary to commercial systems like Wiiâ„¢ which provide global vibrations as a proxy for synthetic tactile feedback, the ACTIVE Hand is comparably lightweight, yet scalable to meet localized tactile resolution requirements. The ACTIVEHand provides controllable pulses for dynamic virtual interactions such as pressing virtual buttons and hitting moving virtual balls. We successfully demonstrate the paradigm of dynamic tactile interactions in virtual environments through a 3D Pong game by integrating the ACTIVE-Hand with Kinectâ„¢ camera.