These Haptic VR Gloves Don’t Buzz #WearableWednesday


Any time I’ve seen something haptic, it’s always relied on a buzzing motor. That isn’t a bad thing, but it’s nice to see this fresh glove in Popular Science. A team of engineers at Rice University created HandsOmni to answer the challenge of non-vibration tactile finger feedback. Their hope is the glove can be used as part of a total VR experience.

The prototype uses a RedBoard microcontroller which operates a servo motor within the glove. The motor puts pressure on 3D printed air bladder reservoirs which are connected by small tubes to bladders in the fingers. So, a gentle puff of air creates the illusion of touching an object through the fingers. Check out the team’s video.

Future uses of the glove include remote surgery, industrial training and military training. Actually, I could see this used in museums for simulated touch of objects which are hands off, as well. It seems like the team is excited about moving forward with HandsOmni, so perhaps we’ll see a start-up soon. In the meantime, you can check out our motors, or you can read up on our Haptic Controller Breakout Board. Not only can you turn motors on and off, you can actually ramp them for a smoother feel. It’s easy to set up a test, so have some fun with your clothing.


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