Cornell’s Organic Robotics Lab creates Omnipulse “Haptic Skin”

Created in collaboration with Nvidia, Cornell’s Organic Robotics Lab has released a prototype of new haptic technology called Omnipulse; a flexible “skin” designed to simulate organic feedback.

So far the technology has been adapted to fit around an HTC Vive controller, where the haptic system has been used to convey sensations like firing a gun or punching objects.

Because the skin is made of a thick piece of rubber, the idea is that it can form around other VR technologies and be integrated with VR controllers, gloves, and haptic suits for greater VR immersion.

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Haptic technology uses pneumatics, which utilizes gas or pressurized air. Omnipulse is different in that it contains a series of pneumatic tubes connected to pockets within the synthetic skin that can be controlled independently. The unsettling writhing of the skin is a result of that independent control.

When adapted to a Vive controller, the prototype skin is attached to a tether connected to a compressor which contains pressurizes air. As a player makes an action inside VR, the skin responds by mimicking the physical sensation of that action through compressed air provided by the tube.

Make sure to take a look at the skin in action on Road to VR.

Join us for VRDC Fall 2017, taking place at the Hilton Union Square in San Francisco, CA September 21-22. Register today!