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GravityCup: A Liquid-based Haptics for Simulating Dynamic Weight in Virtual

Reality
∗ ∗ ∗
Chih-Hao Cheng , Chia-Chi Chang , Ying-Hsuan Chen ,
† ∗ ∗ ∗
Yang-Sheng Cen , Ping-Hsuan Han , Jhu-Chun Ko , Lai-Chung Lee
∗ †
National Taipei University of Technology, National Taiwan University

Figure 1: We introduce GravityCup, a new haptic display which can offer dynamic weight and inertia through liquid in the virtual space for
enhancing the experience of weight sensation. Here are the scenarios about a user is experiencing the weight of handheld containers in
virtual environment: (a) lifting a cup to fill with coffee by a machine, (b) carrying a watering can and water a plant, (c) holding a container
to scoop up dog food and pour into a dog bowl, (d) holding an empty cup and feel the change of the gravity and weight.

ABSTRACT simulates weight sensation through generating shearing stress


Many haptic displays can provide users various kinds of and vertical stress to finger skin by tightening a belt with two
sensations during the interaction in a virtual environment. Like motors. Similarly, there is a bed-style haptic display named
vibration, texture simulation and electrical muscle stimulation, “Haptic Bed” [Koge et al. 2014] that provides weight sensation
and so on. However, human can perceive weight of an object through the system which comprises motors, belts, a cushion and
naturally in daily life, therefore users feel unrealistic lightweight a comforter to press and swing the user lying on the bed. This
when they pick up an object in virtual reality. To recreate an kind of display develops wearable devices to provide tight stress
immersive experience in virtual reality with weight sensation, we to simulate weight sensation and changes. Moreover, there is a
propose a liquid-based haptic feedback device, GravityCup, which haptic interface design named MasterFinger-2 [Monroy et al. 2008]
can simulate realistic weight of objects and offer inertia when which offers multipoint contact interface for bimanual
moving virtual handheld objects. Based on different scenarios, manipulation. It uses motors to apply forces to users’ fingers, and
GravityCup can provide users dynamic weight sensation the operation area is restricted by the mechanical design since it’s
experience for enhancing the interaction with handheld objects in grounded. [Giachritsis et al. 2009] Besides, AirGlove [Gurocak et
virtual reality through the liquid. al. 2003] can apply an arbitrary point force which includes weight
sensation to the user’s hand through air thrust force. Thus, it
CCS CONCEPTS requires six tubing to transmit compressed air. Next, Grabity
• Human-centered computing~Virtual reality [Choi et al. 2017] uses asymmetric vibration to simulate weight,
and it is a mobile and unconstrained device which able to simulate
KEYWORDS two aspect weight of an object. The vibration can dominate the
virtual reality, weight simulation, haptics, liquid-based experience for some, and the simulated weight range is limited by
ACM Reference format: the power of voice coil. Additionally, some of these devices
Chug-Hao Chang, Chia-Chi Chang, Ying-Hsuan Chen, Yang-Sheng Chen, simulate weight dynamically by changing the center of mass. For
Ping-Hsuan Han, Ju-Chun Ko, Lai-Chung Lee. 2018. GravityCup: A Liquid- example, TorqueBAR [Swindells et al. 2003] is an ungrounded
based Haptics for Simulating Dynamic Weight in Virtual Reality. In haptic feedback device that provides dynamic inertial feedback by
Proceedings of SIGGRAPH Asia 2018 Virtual & Augmented Reality, Tokyo, Japan, shifting the center of mass from right to left and vice versa. This
December 2018, 2 pages. device makes users perceive weight changes between hands
during the weight-shifting process. However, it has large size and
1 INTRODUCTION heavy weight (1050g). Furthermore, [Hemmert et al. 2010] is an
Human can perceive weight intuitively in the realistic world. example of a lightweight haptic display for using in mobile phones
However, we hardly sense the weight of an object and related with weight-shifting module. In addition, there is an ungrounded
changes when picking up a virtual object in a virtual environment. generic physical proxy called Shifty [Zenner et al. 2017] which
Many pieces of research study in the solution to simulate the changes its passive haptic properties to enhance the weight
weight of object so far. For instance, Gravity Grabber perception of objects during VR interaction by using actuators to
[Minamizawa et al. 2007] is a wearable haptic device which shift an internal weight gradually. This kind of displays have
portability, and their center of the mass could be changed in a
designated range by rails or belts. Nevertheless, users have to hold
Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or the entire device and the weight in whole process.
classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or
distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and Lastly, we present GravityCup. GravityCup is a solution that
the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for third-party components of this work provides weight sensation via liquid which can easily transmit
must be honored. For all other uses, contact the owner/author(s). weight according to the fluid characteristic. Also, GravityCup can
© 2018 Copyright held by the owner/author(s).
SIGGRAPH Asia 2018 Virtual & Augmented Reality, December 2018, Tokyo, Japan Cheng et. al.

simulate the inertia of container while keeping high realistic Meanwhile, the weight of the handheld device increases. The user
feelings. pours the dog food into a dog bowl. This moment, the weight of
the handheld device decreases. A dog enjoys the meal.
The fourth scene is that the user holds an empty virtual cup in a
room. The user feels the origin weight of the cup. Meanwhile, the
handheld device contains the maximum amount of water. Further,
a cue tone for changing the gravity appears. The gravity in the
room is changed with time. Many of the objects in the room float
in the air. At this time, the weight of the handheld device descends.
The user feels the empty virtual cup loses its weight little by little.

4 DISCUSSION AND FUTURE WORK


GravityCup can provide users haptic feedback experience in
liquid weight increment, liquid weight decrement, inertia of liquid,
and solid particles collision in a container and change of gravity
Figure 2: Hardware Design of GravityCup: (a) sealed water bag, in the virtual environment. We can apply this display to enhance
(b) pumping motor, (c) water pipe, (d) Arduino and other the experience in games, training, and rehabilitation, etc.
modules, (e) battery, (f) Vive Tracker. GravityCup consists of the handheld device part and the wearable
device part. We install the wearable device on the back of users
2 IMPLEMENTATION waist to avoid users from being disturbed. Moreover, the users
GravityCup consists of a liquid-based weight simulating system usually focus on the change of weight of the handheld device and
and a VR system. First, the liquid-based weight simulating system ignore the weight of the wearable device on waist during the
has two parts. One is a handheld device, and the other part is a transmission of the liquid.
wearable device on waist. These two parts are combined with a For the future work, we will enhance the range of simulated
water pipe. Each of them contains a sealed water bag and a weight based on the situation by adding a different mass of liquid.
pumping motor. For the handheld device, we can track its position Additionally, the simulation of solid particles collision, it could be
by a Vive Tracker which is installed under its container. For the enhanced by the sound effect. Finally, we will conduct a further
wearable device on waist, it contains an Arduino Nano with user study to investigate the utility.
batteries and Bluetooth module which control the pumping
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