DIY Haptic-Enabled VR Gun Hits All The Targets

This VR Haptic Gun by [Robert Enriquez] is the result of hacking together different off-the-shelf products and tying it all together with an ESP32 development board. The result? A gun frame that integrates a VR controller (meaning it can be tracked and used in VR) and provides mild force feedback thanks to a motor that moves with each shot.

But that’s not all! Using the WiFi capabilities of the ESP32 board, the gun also responds to signals sent by a piece of software intended to drive commercial haptics hardware. That software hooks into the VR game and sends signals over the network telling the gun what’s happening, and [Robert]’s firmware acts on those signals. In short, every time [Robert] fires the gun in VR, the one in his hand recoils in synchronization with the game events. The effect is mild, but when it comes to tactile feedback, a little can go a long way.

The fact that this kind of experimentation is easily and affordably within the reach of hobbyists is wonderful, and VR certainly has plenty of room for amateurs to break new ground, as we’ve seen with projects like low-cost haptic VR gloves.

[Robert] walks through every phase of his gun’s design, explaining how he made various square pegs fit into round holes, and provides links to parts and resources in the project’s GitHub repository. There’s a video tour embedded below the page break, but if you want to jump straight to a demonstration in Valve’s Half-Life: Alyx, here’s a link to test firing at 10:19 in.

There are a number of improvements waiting to be done, but [Robert] definitely understands the value of getting something working, even if it’s a bit rough. After all, nothing fills out a to-do list or surfaces hidden problems like a prototype. Watch everything in detail in the video tour, embedded below.

3 thoughts on “DIY Haptic-Enabled VR Gun Hits All The Targets

  1. What you need to do is have a MOVING WEIGHT for haptic feedback, because this can not only create the feedback haptics for shots fired/reload but its resting position can be dynamically moved forward or back, changing the center-of-gravity (COG), for different in-game weapons so the entire gun FEELS DIFFERENT depending on which gun you pickup in the game!

    Imagine you pickup a handgun, so the moving weight slides to the back, having the COG close to your hand, as you’d expect with any pistol.

    Now imagine you pickup a shotgun or rifle of any description, the weight slides forward and rests in a new position, making the gun ‘front heavy’ in your hand, so much so you naturally want to put your other hand under it to support it – as you would expect of any rifle or shotgun.

    And because this weight moves and is heavy, it can create a much higher range of dynamic feedback for different shots fired and reload feedback haptics.

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