Haptic feedback can significantly enhance the realism and immersiveness of virtual reality (VR) systems. In this paper, we propose MoveVR, a technique that enables realistic, multiform force feedback in VR leveraging commonplace cleaning robots. MoveVR can generate tension, resistance, impact and material rigidity force feedback with multiple levels of force intensity and directions. This is achieved by changing the robot's moving speed, rotation, position as well as the carried proxies. We demonstrated the feasibility and effectiveness of MoveVR through interactive VR gaming. In our quantitative and qualitative evaluation studies, participants found that MoveVR provides more realistic and enjoyable user experience when compared to commercially available haptic solutions such as vibrotactile haptic systems.
We introduce PoCoPo, the first handheld pin-based shape display that can render various 2.5D shapes in hand in realtime. We designed the display small enough for a user to hold it in hand and carry it around, thereby enhancing the haptic experiences in a virtual environment. PoCoPo has 18 motor-driven pins on both sides of a cuboid, providing the sensation of skin contact on the user's palm and fingers. We conducted two user studies to understand the capability of PoCoPo. The first study showed that the participants were generally successful in distinguishing the shapes rendered by PoCoPo with an average success rate of 88.5%. In the second study, we investigated the acceptable visual size of a virtual object when PoCoPo rendered a physical object of a certain size. The result led to a better understanding of the acceptable differences between the perceptions of visual size and haptic size.
We present Haptic-go-round, a surrounding platform that allows deploying props and devices to provide haptic feedbacks in any direction in virtual reality experiences. The key component of Haptic-go-round is a motorized turntable that rotates the correct haptic device to the right direction at the right time to match what users are about to touch. We implemented a working platform including plug-and-play prop cartridges and a software interface that allow experience designers to agilely add their haptic components and use the platform for their applications. We conducted technical experiments and two user studies on Haptic-go-round to evaluate its performance. We report the results and discuss our insights and limitations.
Today's virtual reality (VR) systems allow users to explore immersive new worlds and experiences through sight. Unfortunately, most VR systems lack haptic feedback, and even high-end consumer systems use only basic vibration motors. This clearly precludes realistic physical interactions with virtual objects. Larger obstacles, such as walls, railings, and furniture are not simulated at all. In response, we developed Wireality, a self-contained worn system that allows for individual joints on the hands to be accurately arrested in 3D space through the use of retractable wires that can be programmatically locked. This allows for convincing tangible interactions with complex geometries, such as wrapping fingers around a railing. Our approach is lightweight, low-cost, and low-power, criteria important for future, worn consumer uses. In our studies, we further show that our system is fast-acting, spatially-accurate, high-strength, comfortable, and immersive.
Current Virtual Reality (VR) technologies focus on rendering visuospatial effects, and thus are inaccessible for blind or low vision users. We examine the use of a novel white cane controller that enables navigation without vision of large virtual environments with complex architecture, such as winding paths and occluding walls and doors. The cane controller employs a lightweight three-axis brake mechanism to provide large-scale shape of virtual objects. The multiple degrees-of-freedom enables users to adapt the controller to their preferred techniques and grip. In addition, surface textures are rendered with a voice coil actuator based on contact vibrations; and spatialized audio is determined based on the progression of sound through the geometry around the user. We design a scavenger hunt game that demonstrates how our device enables blind users to navigate a complex virtual environment. Seven out of eight users were able to successfully navigate the virtual room (6x6m) to locate targets while avoiding collisions. We conclude with design consideration on creating immersive non-visual VR experiences based on user preferences for cane techniques, and cane material properties.