Researchers have developed soft actuators that allow you to feel touched against virtual objects.
The team of engineers from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne decided to increase the degree of realism of the VR technology, adding its tactile sensations to physically non-existent objects. For this, scientists have created tiny capsules that can inflate and blur under the action of electric current.
Each capsule of 1 mm is covered with an insulating silicone membrane with an internal pocket filled with oil, under which four electrodes are located. When the voltage is filled, the electrodes are attracted, as a result of which the center of the capsule swells like a blister. This system allows you to mix the bubble in different directions, creating the impression of touching the solid object.
Researchers are already working on the integration of an array of such capsules into a thin glove to imitate contact sensations with various materials, such as wood, plastic or ceramics. They also make up a special software that will help to deceive our brain, giving the necessary properties and mass to virtual objects. According to the team, the technology can be applied not only for video games, but also in simulators for training specialists, for example, surgeons.
Other teams also work in this direction. Previously, another group of engineers presented alternative
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