This robot hits you in real life when you hit you in VR

Who I am
Tom Chatfield
@tomchatfield

Summary

  • A boxer robot synchronized with a VR fighting game

Le purpose of virtual reality is to simulate reality. To make the illusion ever more credible, many companies are developing accessories that make it possible to reinforce the feeling of immersion: gloves and suits with haptic feedback, treadmill, olfactory mask, motorized shoes, object trackers, etc.

However, until now, no VR accessory allowed to transcribe the feeling of taking a good right in the jaw. While most gamers will happily do without it, the most masochistic "hardcore gamers" would like virtual reality games to be more "punitive".



Indeed, whatever the VR game, it is possible to rush headlong into a horde of enemies without any consequences other than Game Over. The feeling of danger is therefore almost non-existent, and this strongly detracts from the general realism of the experience.

A boxer robot synchronized with a VR fighting game

To address this, engineer and YouTuber James Bruton teamed up with the University of Portsmouth to create a robot capable of hitting you in real life when hitting you in VR...

The robot is mounted on a wooden base with wheels, and has 3D printed pneumatic arms allowing it to strike the player. Of course it is equipped with boxing gloves in order to avoid assassinating the player with a robotic punch...

The machine relies on the Arduino Mega interface, while Vive Trackers sensors track the robot's arms as well as the player's VR headset and baseball bat. The robot and its movements are synchronized with a virtual reality fighting game specially developed for the occasion.


Unfortunately for those who dream of getting a good beating by a boxing robot, this is an end-of-year project of the University of Portsmouth students. Therefore, for now, marketing is not on the agenda...





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