Peter Sassaman talks about Team Gauntl33t’s Project Lance VR Haptic feedback glove that he brought to SVVRCon. This is an open source and open hardware approach for creating a haptic feedback glove that includes 3D printed materials, an Arduino board, Hitec HS-322HD Servos and leather and elastic materials for the glove.
They’re integrating the Arduino board into VR through the Uniduino plug-in for Unity, which works with the free version of Unity. They’re currently doing positional tracking with a Razer Hydra and a modified version of the Sixense SDK, but they’re planning on expanding support to PrioVR, STEM and potentially with Leap Motion and perhaps even with DK2 camera if that’s possible.
They’ve started to make some of the source files available on their GitHub page for all of the 3D printed materials, and plan on sharing more of their source code there over time.
Peter talks about being inspired by sci-fi novels like Ready Player One and Snow Crash. Because he was interested in getting involved with VR on the hardware side, he decided to start trying to tackle the problem of haptic feedback since the omni-directional treadmills were already being worked on with the Virtuix Omni.
He talks about his design process and various decisions along the way, and a lot of their future plans moving forward. Tactical Haptics founder William Provancher told me that at the IEEE VR conference, that it was discussed that haptics is one of the biggest open problems in VR at the moment.
So if you’d like to get more involved in developing haptic feedback devices, then be sure to reach out to them via their website and check out what they’ve posted in their GitHub repo for Team Gauntl33t’s Project Lance project.
Reddit discussion here.
- 0:00 – Intro to Gauntl33t Project Lance VR Haptic feedback glove
- 0:26 – Components that were used? Arduino board along with and Hitec HS-322HD Servos
- 1:15 – Positional tracking with Razer Hydra. Expand to PrioVR or STEM motion tracking in the future.
- 1:36 – Haptic feedback on the front of the fingers by pulling back with the servos
- 2:22 – VR demo of a coffee shop where you can pick up a squishy bag or a hard cup. Want this to integrated into VR adventure games
- 2:58 – How to distinguish between hard and soft objects. Servos turn on completely for hard. It pulses on and off for the soft object
- 3:25 – What kind of code are you running on the Arduino. A modified version of Firmata. Using the Uniduino plug-in for Unity, but it runs with the free version of Unity.
- 4:27 – What are your future plans for it? Will be uploading all of the STL files to GitHub, along with the code that they actually wrote. They modified the Sixense SDK, but they’re planning on making as much of it available as an open project. They may have an Indiegogo campaign that provides some of the 3D printed components and servos, but they’ll need a couple of more iterations before doing a crowdfunding campaign for a full product.
- 5:44 – Why use leather as the material? Using elastic and using leather and rivets to hold two pieces together.
- 6:33 – Why elastic? Fit many different sizes of hands.
- 7:03 – What material do you use to connect to fingertips to deal with different surfaces? Only simulating size and hardness of the object. Potentially use buzzers in the future. Aiming to keep the cost down, but people can modify and expand. Aimed for hacker and makers to collaborate and innovate on haptics.
- 8:20 – Using camera-based tracking of hands with a Leap Motion? Want as many different trackers as possible. Potentially even with DK2.
- 9:04 – What inspired to get you into VR development? Ready Player One, Snow Crash, and other VR content. It’s now possible, and wanted to work on the hardware side. Treadmills were already being worked on.
- 10:01 – Tactical Haptics Reactive Grip™ and whether you’ll have to chose a haptic glove or objects. Turn off gloves when you’re holding a prop item. Potentially all integrated into a single glove in the future.
- 10:55 – It looks fairly fragile. How durable is it? Don’t be afraid of breaking it
- 11:23 – What’s in the huge box on your arm? Servos are in there, and they’re pretty big. Need metal gear servos
- 11:50 – How a servo works? Takes two power inputs, but also a pulsed width input. There’s a potentiometer to determine how much it’s turned. Motor to control position of servo. Gears to determine how much to turn
- 12:55 – What is the servo controller? Pulls strings to pull back onto fingers
- 13:16 – Translating input from Unity? There’s a lot of control for how hard an object can be to get different levels of hardness. There’s 400 points across 180 degrees, which can provide a lot of fidelity.
- 14:16 – What kind of reactions have you gotten? Lots of great feedback, and some suggested changes to make it better.
Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio