Virtual Hand Illusion

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Experimental setup for the Virtual hand illusion experiments. The participant's hand motions are tracked using infrared camera, enabling interactions with the virtual environment. The participant receives a haptic feedback depending on the interactions through a haptic device mounted on the wearable glove.

Over the years, an increasing number of applications in entertainment, medicine, retail, research, and education have begun utilizing Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) systems. One of the main limitations of such applications is that the user is able to distinguishing their self from the external virtual environment. Therefore, there is a need for a wearable haptic interface to enable an embodied interaction with such applications / environments.

The initial study [1] investigated if wearable haptics play an important role in the body experience and could thereby contribute to the immersion of the user in the virtual environment. To do this, a multi-participant study (n=32) was conducted that aimed at comparing the embodiment of a virtual hand with different implementations of haptic feedback (force feedback, vibrotactile feedback, and no haptic feedback). In the study, participants were asked to put virtual cubes on a moving virtual target (see Figure) while different types of feedback (vibrotactile-feedback, force-feedback or no feedback depending on the condition) were provided depending on the condition being explored. The study concluded that the haptic feedback significantly improves the embodiment of a virtual hand.

To add on to this study, we propose exploring the optimal position of the haptic device on the human hand or arm to further improve the embodiment with the virtual applications / environments.

More information can be found here.

M.Sc. Anany Dwivedi

Research Associate

Department of Electrical-Electronic-Communication Engineering
Chair of Autonomous Systems and Mechatronics