Life-like Control of Humanoid Avatars with force feedback

Created by German company, Holotron Technologies, the founder and engineer, Dr. Marcel Reese prototyped the first working system for force feedback and balance feedback as you walk in VR.

The Holotron is currently and probably the only feasible device (with several other possible) for life-like control of any humanoid avatar, including implanted brain-computer interfaces. This is on path to enabling remote operation of a humanoid robot as one own’s body.

This nudges VR a little closer to the holy grail of instant physical location presence.

The video demonstrates:

  • low latency, bilateral force- and balance feedback for walking in VR,
  • feeling the momentum and mass movable objects,
  • walking over slipping blocks with the interplay of stiction and friction,
  • challenging operation even at low frame rates (50 fps) on a slow 2012 CPU,
  • robust control during sudden force and speed changes,
  • operation at 1/20 of earth gravity,
  • robust control even beyond the set strength limit (25%, 150 Nm, visible when the avatar and user’s pose are not synced anymore),
  • feasibility even with cheap, low-strength, low-stiffness materials for the exoskeleton (wood).

The current prototype only uses two motors for each leg, one for each knee and one for each hip joint. The exoskeleton is ready to include five motors for each leg.

The design is modular and reusable for the easy extension to the full body version with arm, hand and back exoskeletons:

  • actuators
  • electronics
  • software
  • firmware

Flexible changes possible, e.g.

  • swap actuators/motors,
  • more compact and lighter exoskeleton.

Can’t wait for this to evolve into the Holodeck and Beaming from StarTrek. Here comes Scotty!

Looking forward to more implementation.

Source: Holotron and Knoxlabs

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