This is a very exciting time for those who like to spend their downtime exploring virtual worlds. The graphics in some big-budget titles are easily approaching photorealism, and immersive multi-channel sound can really make you believe you’ve been transported to another place or time. With another generation or two of GPU development and VR hardware, the line between gaming and reality is bound to get awful blurry.
That said, we’re still a far way off from the holodeck aboard the Enterprise. A high-end PC and the latest in VR can fool your eyes and ears, but that still leaves your other senses out of the fun. That’s why [Jatin Patel] has developed this clever force-feedback mouse using an array of solenoids.
The idea is pretty simple: a Python program on the computer listens for mouse click events, and tells an attached Arduino to fire off the solenoids when the player pulls the virtual trigger. It’s naturally not a perfect system, as it would seem that clicking in the game’s menus would also start your “gun” firing. But as you can see in the video after the break, when it works, it works very well. The moving solenoids don’t just vibrate the mouse around, the metallic clacking actually accentuates the gun sound effects from the game.
With this kind of tactile feedback and an omnidirectional treadmill to keep us moving, we’d be pretty close to fooling our senses into thinking we’re actually somewhere else. Which frankly, sounds quite appealing right about now.
Continue reading “Force Feedback Mouse Really Shakes Things Up”
When you’re driving your virtual supercar around the Italian countryside the last thing you want is an inauthentic steering wheel feel, that’s where Open FFBoard comes in. Racing game enthusiasts will go to impossible and sometimes incredibly expensive lengths to build extravagant simulators. [Yannick] feels many of these products are just a little too pricey without much need.
Right now his board is still in a process of iteration, though it can integrate with Assetto Corsa already. You can see in the demo video after the break that it responds quite realistically to the video game state, however problems keep cropping up in search of solutions. Motor drivers burn out and power resistors are added: that energy has to go somewhere. Next up will be switching to the increasingly popular Trinamic drivers. Either way we can’t wait to see the next revision and to get another amazing simulator build sent in to us, maybe centered around the Open FFBoard.
Continue reading “Feel The Virtual Road With Force Feedback”
Using force sensors it’s possible to chain a series of servo motors together so they not only move as one, but can detect and simulate the force that another feels. Which means if you built up a tele-presence robot with a servo-driven robotic arm, using the local control arm you could feel exactly what it feels like on the other side!
[Wolf Tronix] saw our post last week on Series Elastic Actuators, and shared what he was working on in the comments. As one tipster pointed out — it deserves its own feature!
He’s been designing his own Real Time Motion Control System and Mini Servo board, or RTMCS2 for short and shown off a short video of it in action. By adding a force feedback sensor to each servo, not only do they copy each other, but if you put a load on one, you’ll feel it on the others!
Continue reading “Feeling Force Through A Servo”
Recently, a Japanese coder on the DCEmu Forums released Windows drivers for DualShock 3 controllers. While the drivers only support using the controllers over USB and not bluetooth, they do include force feedback and Sixaxis support. Included with the drivers is a configuration tool, and though it appears to be in Japanese there is some explanation of how to use it included in the forum post. We have not tested these personally, but you can try out the drivers for yourself by downloading them from the forum here.
[photo: William Hook]
[thomph-zhu] sent in this interesting project. If you’ve ever wished for cat like senses, you’ll dig this. It’s a set of electronic whiskers – it uses IR to detect nearby objects, and vibrates against your head upon detection. It’s definitely an interesting use of tactile feedback. The initial idea is for construction safety, but this could be useful for plenty of other applications. (Robotic control, etc)
[F00 f00] sent in his latest PSP mod. By combining a voltage amplifier, a PIC controller and a cell phone motor he ended up with force feedback enabled PSP. He’s got the PIC set to enable the motor when it detects certain sound frequencies from the speaker via the amp.
The video is after the break.
Continue reading “Force Feedback PSP Mod”