Posts with «virtual reality» label

FacePush adds extra realism to your VR experience

Haptic feedback is something commonly used with handheld controllers and the like. However, in a virtual reality environment, it could also be used with the other interface surface attached to your body: the VR headset itself.

That’s the idea behind FacePush, which employs an Arduino Uno-powered pulley system to place tension on the straps of an HTC Vive headset. A corresponding pushing force is felt by the wearer through the headset in response to this action, creating yet another way to help immerse users in a virtual world. 

Applications tried so far include a boxing game, dive simulator, and 360-degree guidance You can check it out in a short demo below, and read more about it in the full research paper here.

We Couldn’t Afford An Oculus, So We Built One

Like a lot of 16-year-olds, [Maxime Coutée] wanted an Oculus Rift. Unlike a lot of 16-year-olds, [Maxime] and friends [Gabriel] and [Jonas] built one themselves for about a hundred bucks and posted it on GitHub. We’ll admit that at 16 we weren’t throwing around words like quaternions and antiderivatives, so we were duly impressed.

Before you assume this is just a box to put a phone in like a Google Cardboard, take a look at the bill of materials: an Arduino Due, a 2K LCD screen, a Fresnel lens, and an accelerometer/gyro. The team notes that the screen is what will push the price unpredictably, but they got by for about a hundred euro. At the current exchange rate, if you add up all the parts, they went a little over $100, but they were still under $150 assuming you have a 3D printer to print the mechanical parts.

The system uses two custom libraries that you could use even if you wanted a slightly different project. FastVR creates 3D virtual reality using Unity and WRMHL allows Unity to communicate with an Arduino. Both of these are on the team’s GitHub page, as well.

There was one other member of the team, their math teacher [Jerome Dieudonne] who they call [Sensei]. According to [Jerome] he is “… the theoretician of the team. I teach them math and I help them solving algorithm issues.” He must be very proud and we always applaud when someone takes the time to share what they know with students.

We don’t know what’s next for this group, but we will be keeping an eye on them to see what’s next. Maybe they’ll work on smell-o-vision.

Interact with the virtual world in a whole new way

As reported by the Creative Applications Network, “Tangibles Worlds explores the effects of tactile experience as a catalyst for full immersion in VR.”

The project by Stella Speziali takes the form of three separate boxes, along with an Oculus Rift headset. When a hand is placed in one of these boxes, the user is virtually transported to another dimension of sight and sound, controlled by IR distance sensors, flex sensors, capacitive wire, and several other devices interfaced with an Arduino Mega.

Each box contains an IR distance sensor, which detects when a hand is inserted and display the virtual world attributed to the box. This new virtual world surrounds the user. A sensor is placed on each wall within the boxes, this sensor recognizes the hand and activates an animation inside the virtual world. I tried to map the sensors in the virtual universe so that a little clue is given to the user and will lead him to trigger the animations.

The idea behind this installation is to go beyond “traditional” VR controllers for entirely new level of interaction. The video seen here gives an excellent preview of the strangeness of this type of interface, though using it with a headset and sensors would likely be an altogether different experience!

Control a tracked robot with your mind (or joystick)

Whether you choose to control this vehicle with your mind or a joystick, the camera mounted on it will give you a new view of the world.

Maker “Imetomi” was inspired to create a tracked robot after he was able to salvage a camera off of a cheap drone. This became the basis of his FPV setup, which he fitted onto a little tracked vehicle. Although this would have been enough for most people, in addition to building a joystick-based controller, he also made it work with a brainwave headset.

Imetomi now has something that he can drive around virtually, spying on passersby, as long as it stays within the VR transmitter’s 50-meter range. Be sure to check out the video below, where the small bot shows of its impressive all-terrain capabilities, and read his Instructables write-up here.

 

Revealed: Homebrew Controller Working in Steam VR

[Florian] has been putting a lot of work into VR controllers that can be used without interfering with a regular mouse + keyboard combination, and his most recent work has opened the door to successfully emulating a Vive VR controller in Steam VR. He uses Arduino-based custom hardware on the hand, a Leap Motion controller, and fuses the data in software.

We’ve seen [Florian]’s work before in successfully combining a Leap Motion with additional hardware sensors. The idea is to compensate for the fact that the Leap Motion sensor is not very good at detecting some types of movement, such as tilting a fist towards or away from yourself — a movement similar to aiming a gun up or down. At the same time, an important goal is for any added hardware to leave fingers and hands free.

[Florian]’s DIY VR hand controls emulate the HTC Vive controllers in Valve’s Steam VR Tracking with a software chain that works with his custom hardware. His DIY controller doesn’t need to be actively held because by design it grips the hand, leaving fingers free to do other tasks like typing or gesturing.

Last time we saw [Florian]’s work, development was still heavy and there wasn’t any source code shared, but there’s now a git repository for the project with everything you’d need to join the fun. He adds that “I see a lot of people with Wii nunchucks looking to do this. With a few edits to my FreePIE script, they should be easily be able to enable whatever buttons/orientation data they want.”

We have DIY hardware emulating Vive controllers in software, and we’ve seen interfacing to the Vive’s Lighthouse hardware with DIY electronics. There’s a lot of hacking around going on in this area, and it’s exciting to see what comes next.


Filed under: Arduino Hacks, Virtual Reality

Building a VR automatic camera tracker

Light graffiti, virtual reality, and motion control combine to make one amazing robotic sidekick.

Film making has advanced in a staggering way over the last 50 or even 10 years, but what if you were to augment your filming rig with a VR headset and add a camera that automatically tracks where a VR controller is? Jaymis Loveday did just this, and in the video below, you’ll see a very interesting result–he’s painting with light in thin air.

If you’ve ever tried light graffiti, you’re familiar with what he’s doing. The problem is figuring out what and where exactly you’ve painted, and his system seems to solve this.

Later in the video, he interacts with a virtual world while the real world is still in the shot, for a kind of mixed reality filming experience. The possibilities for this kind of interface are staggering, so hopefully we’ll see even more strange art in the future!

… it’s a project I’ve had in my mind since I first used the Vive over a year ago, at PAX Prime in Seattle. As soon as I waved the controller in front of my face and noticed the tracking speed and accuracy I started mentally designing camera tracking systems. I wanted a VR system in my life because I love games, but I needed a Vive for filmmaking science experiments.

You can see more about this rig on his website here or on the project’s Reddit post. You can also check out Loveday’s previous video tracking only version here.

The Oculus Cardboard Project: DIY Virtual Reality Gun with Tracking

I always wanted to shoot things in virtual reality but I'm broke so I did what I could. This is my attempt at an Oculus Rift style experience with Google Cardboard. This is actually a really fun project and its extremely easy to replicate. The parts cost around $15 total and will take about 45 minutes if you are new to Arduino.

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Pong In Real Life, Mechanical Pong

[Daniel Perdomo] and two of his friends have been working on a mechanical version of Pong for the past two years. We can safely say that the final result is beautiful. It’s quite ethereal to watch the pixe–cube move back and forth on the surface.

[Daniel] has worked in computer graphics for advertising for more than 20 years. However, he notes that neither he nor his friends had any experience in mechanics or electronics when they began. Thankfully, the internet (and, presumably, sites like Hackaday) provided them with the information needed.

The pong paddles and and pixel (ball?) sit onto of a glass surface. The moving parts are constrained to the mechanics with magnets. Underneath is a construction not unlike an Etch A Sketch for moving the ball while the paddles are just on a rail with a belt. The whole assembly is made from V-groove extrusion.

Our favorite part of the build is the scroll wheel for moving the paddle back and forth. For a nice smooth movement with some mass behind it, what’s better than a hard-drive platter? They printed out an encoder wheel pattern and glued it to the surface. The electronics are all hand-made. The brains appear to be some of the larger Arduinos. The 8-bit segments, rainbow LEDs, etc were build using strips glued in place with what looks like copper foil tape connecting buses. This is definitely a labor of love.

It really must be seen to be understood. The movement is smooth, and our brains almost want to remove a dimension when watching it. As for the next steps? They are hoping to spin it up into an arcade machine business, and are looking for people with money and experience to help them take it from a one-off prototype to a product. Video after the break.


Filed under: classic hacks, Virtual Reality

DIY Virtual Reality Skateboard

This is a really easy project that can be done in about an hour. It is more of a virtual reality experience rather than a game. An accelerometer/gyro goes onto an Arduino board and transmits the angular motion of the board via bluetooth to a (extremely amateur game) I made in Unity for Android phones. This only works for Android phones and your phone must be compatible with Google Cardboard.

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Pedal a Bike Through Virtual Reality for Under $100

Riding your bike on winter roads can be tough sometimes. Riding your bike through a virtual reality is easier and surprisingly affordable!

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