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A floor that changes shape for VR
Virtual reality technology has come a long way over the past decade, but there are still some things that could be done to make it even more interactive and engaging. What if virtual reality users could actually feel the ground they walk on rather than just seeing it? A team of students from KAIST in South Korea and the University of Chicago set out to tackle this problem by creating a 1.8m x 0.6m platform that can precisely create the feel of varied terrain. This device uses a total of 1,200 pins which can rise and fall individually with a resolution of 15mm.
The movement of the pins is obtained through a complex mechanism which, moving row by row through the 60 rows, will push or pull these pins. There are 10 actuator modules in total which each contain an Arduino Nano, a regulator, two DC motors, a Hall effect sensor and a pair of magnets. The locking mechanism is controlled with an Arduino Uno and two servo motors, and horizontal movements are also performed with one Arduino Uno and two microstepper controllers.