TACTIle feedback enriched virtual interaction through virtual realITY and beyond
About the project:
Start: 1st July 2019.
UE funding: 3'799'946 €
Duration: 36 months
Coordinator: Dr Thierry Keller from TECNALIA Research & Innovation (Spain).
TACTILITY, a multidisciplinary innovation and research action entitled “Tactile feedback enriched interaction through virtual reality and beyond”, has the overall aim of including rich and meaningful tactile information into novel interaction systems through technology for closed-loop tactile interaction with virtual environments. By mimicking the characteristics of the natural tactile feedback, it will substantially increase the quality of immersive Virtual Reality (VR) experience used locally or remotely (tele-manipulation).
The approach is based on transcutaneous electro-tactile stimulation delivered through electrical pulses with high resolution spatio-temporal distribution. To achieve it, significant development of technologies for transcutaneous stimulation, textile-based multi-pad electrodes and tactile sensation electronic skin, coupled with ground-breaking research of perception of elicited tactile sensations in VR, is needed.
The Beta version has a) a size reduction, b) an increase of the number of stimulation output channels and c) the integration of the device with the TACTILITY glove.
Components and first versions of the TACTILITY glove as part of the Beta version are shown in the pictures a)-d) below. Note that a dual glove solution was used comprising an inner glove with the transferred electrodes connected to the stimulator and an outer glove with the kinematic sensors.
A couple of virtual reality (VR) scenarios were implemented to showcase the functionality of the system. The next picture is a screenshot from the automotive scenario.
The second demonstrator, a virtual forest in which it is raining, showed potential functionalities related to the full hand stimulation and the capability of providing stimulation and its precise localization on the palm of the user’s hand simulating the sensation of raindrops falling on the user’s hand.