Artificial skin created by researchers makes it possible to feel VR

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Michael Naimark
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Summary

  • An artificial silicone skin for haptic feedback in VR

- VR headsets are now able to deceive the sight, the hearing, and even allow us to use our hands naturally thanks to hand-tracking. To make the immersion in virtual reality even more immersive, the next step is the haptic feedback.

There are already gloves and even full suits to add touch stimulation to VR. These accessories allow in particular to feel the contact of virtual objects, even their solidity or their weight.



Now, researchers at the Federal Polytechnic of Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, have succeeded in creating a flexible artificial skin capable of delivering haptic feedback. This device could be used in the field of medical rehabilitation, but also for virtual reality ...

An artificial silicone skin for haptic feedback in VR

Cette artificial skin is made of silicone and electrodes. Its shape is adaptable, allowing it to wrap around a finger or wrist to deliver haptic feedback in the form of pressure or vibration.

On-board sensors make it possible to detect deformations so that feedback adjusts in reaction to movements. This is what allows an incredible realism making this innovation particularly suitable for use in VR ...

La artificial skin can be stretched up to four times its original length and therefore can withstand all movements. For the first time, sensors and actuators are integrated into the skin. Thus, the vibratory stimuli felt by the user can be precisely modulated for rehabilitation or virtual reality.

Researchers are now planning to develop a prototype for virtual and augmented reality applications. Initially, this prototype will be used within the framework of neuroscientific studies. Researchers will be able to study brain activity while the human body is stimulated by haptic feedback. In the long term, however, we can predict the development of wetsuits or gloves made of this artificial fabric to allow maximum immersion in games and other VR applications ...





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