Virtual Reality (VR) is an immersive multisensory experience. Visual and auditory feedback in VR has improved significantly in the last decades. However, despite its great potential, the sense of touch is not satisfactorily served in today's virtual reality systems. Therefore, this thesis develops a novel shape-shifting haptic device named Shiftly, which renders plausible haptic feedback when touching virtual objects in VR. By changing its shape, Shiftly approximates the geometry of a virtual object touched by the user and provides haptic feedback for the hand. The device uses curved origami that is programmatically folded and unfolded to create a shape-changing touch surface that can be transformed from flat to curved. In this thesis, the design of Shiftly is described, a fully functional prototype is fabricated, a VR application is implemented, and Shiftly is evaluated in two user studies. Shiftly can render realistic haptic feedback for flat surfaces, convex shapes of different curvatures, shapes with edges, and, to some extent, concave surfaces and objects with small details. The device achieves this using only three actuators – a considerably smaller number than the comparable state-of-the-art.


Batik, T. (2023). Design and Evaluation of a Novel Shape Changing Haptic Device for Virtual Reality [Diploma Thesis, Technische Universität Wien]. reposiTUm. https://doi.org/10.34726/hss.2023.111843