VRFree Gloves: VR Haptic Gloves?

Ever since reading Ready Player One years back, I’ve wanted haptic gloves (gloves that allow you to feel things you touch in VR) or at least a good glove for tracking my hands in VR.  I just saw a reference to these in my youtube viewing, and I’m gonna give my thoughts on them as I’m looking at them.

The main company website is here:

SensoryX

I’m not gonna go everything point by point, they have their own marketing team for that.  I’m just gonna comment on things I find interesting.

So far it appears that they have what is supposed to be a precision tracking system with fingerless gloves to be delivered January 2020 and later, but there is reference to a haptic feedback version.

Let’s see, compatible with Oculus, Gear VR, Vive, Open VR.  Nice.

Price point for the fingerless gloves, CHF 650, which is about $656 US.  Pricey… but possibly doable.  They’ve gotta sell me on it’s capabilities, and importantly, compatibility, before I start throwing around that kind of money again.

Features:

Looks like there is a sensor you add onto your headseat, and a pair of gloves.  I’m not sure if there are any other parts.

Tracking outside my field of view?  Niiiiiiice.  That’s been the number one drawback for the other tracking systems I’ve heard of.

Wireless, definitely a must.

Millimeter-scale precision, a definite plus.  I have often have trouble interacting with objects precisely in VR, and this should help with that.

Rechargeable… eh.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  Probably helps the form factor of the battery packs, but it’s gonna suck if I forget to recharge and I want to jump into VR with them.  I keep batteries on hand to swap out with my current controllers.

 

Demo videos:

The below videos are mostly the ones posted on their main page, in order.

Video 1

This looks like a promise of capability, but so far I’m not seeing anything that proves capability, just fanciful renderings of what “could be”.  I’m not seeing game titles.  Definitely seems to emulate a version of the Minority Report display.  I’m seeing a lot of promises and cool renders… but nothing proving it works.

Video 2

Ah, an actual demo.  Someone trying to play piano with it.  The person appears to have the music memorized like an actual pianist playing the song… but their movements and playing are suuuuper hesitant.  Then again, they don’t have force feedback in this version of the glove, so I’ll at least give them credit for being able to somewhat play the piano with the gloves.

Video 3

This one is kinda cool.  Used on a gun range.  This is also a rough prototype.  Hopefully they’ll have more later stage prototype videos soon.

Video not on main page

This one followed one of the other ones on Vimeo.  I don’t know why the hell they didn’t use this one as one of their primary demos, as in it’s own way it is much more impressive of a demo than the gun one.  Shows someone picking up virtual balls and tossing them, with the on-screen hand closely following their movements.  Looks like they did include it on the demos page, though.

FlyInside Flight Sim

Okay, this is pretty darn cool.  Flying in a plane, being able to push the controls with the gloves.

 

 

Well, it definitely warrants looking into this further, I just hope to see some videos of a more finished product as I go along.   I really hope I can find somewhere to try these before I make a decision on whether or not to get a pair of them.

Project Update 11/6/19: The Scratchening

The Scratchening:

This last weekend I was attempting to “improve” my keytar case paint job.  There were some blobs of paint from how I had painted the first couple coats.  I thought I was following the advice of some other people (particularly the Cyberdeck discord, yes, it’s a thing).

Apparently I failed.

I sanded the case and parts, and put another coat of paint on… and now there are visible scratches.  I’ll have to sand it again… much more carefully, and then repaint.  I’m not sure how well it will show up in the photos.

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These are apparently not what was meant by “use coarse, medium, and fine sandpaper”.

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I’m still annoyed at myself, and per further elaborated advice, I’m going to re-sand the thing again with a series of finer grains of sandpaper on a proper sanding block.  “When you think you’re done, keep sanding.”

 

In other news:

Over the weekend I had to clean/lube/recalibrate my printer.  I had been noticing some layer shifts in some prints, and this was the easiest possibility for me to address.

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Seems to have worked, as my prints since then have been good so far.  I needed something to test a long print time on something with verticality to make it obvious if these shifts occurred again.  I decided to look for an appropriate Benchy, and someone had my back!

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Benchy-209 on Thingiverse

Optimus Prime!  As a no assembly required print!  I was in the mood for printing a robot, and thought to look him up.  He transforms!

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Optimus Prime on Thingiverse

COM|POST: Quick Project Weekend in Review 10/28/19

So, I’ve apparently got a lot to log this week, which is both awesome (yay, stuff was accomplished!) and annoying (shards, I’ve gotta log all this stuff).

I’ll try got go through it pretty quickly, since it’s multiple projects, and not a lot of focus on any one project.

Keytar Progress:

I finally found time to epoxy and prime my keytar.  I’m gonna need to get some sand paper to smooth out some parts I messed up on (I’m new to spraypainting).  Later I’ll put on another layer (I missed some stuff) or more.  Then it’s back to maybe sanding a bit, stickering, clear coating, and matte coating.  Here are a few images of where things stand now.

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I’m still debating how I want to paint these greeblies.  Maybe a metallic color of some kind?

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And here is what I’m thinking of for stickers at the moment.  I’ve got a bunch of other random stickers from a Ready Player One bundle that I’m considering layering under these, but I wonder whether I should do that, or if it might cause problems.  Also might cause these top stickers to not stand out as much.

Proposed Stickers.jpg

 

 

Costume Update:

I’ve been updating my Ghostbusters costume this year.  I’m able to fit into an actual jumpsuit this year, so I got one.  And it’s a bit too big on me (yaaaay for weight loss, but boooo, I was hoping for a good fit).  Still, at least I can wear it!  And I can (kinda) use one web belt instead of needing two.

Anyway, new jumpsuit means I need to sew patches again… or if you are lazy like me (and know that you are gonna get another suit later) you attach them to Velcro for easy transfer.  Still had to sew the name patch onto the Velcro strip that came on the uniform, but just had to attach the adhesive Velcro panels for the logo patch.

Ghostbusters Patch.jpg

I also decided since I suddenly had free time to work on projects that I’d go a bit further, and make the connectors and tube that hang off the left side of the uniform.  3D models were available on Thingiverse here:

Ghostbusters Leg Hose Connector on Thingiverse

I printed that sucker out, ordered some magnets that I superglued in, and attempted to dye the hose.

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The dyeing didn’t go too well, but at least it is slightly greenish, which was kinda my intent.  Yes, per the first movie they are supposed to be yellowish… but I didn’t like the catheter explanation for the tube that the color implies.  I went with the video game option that implies it has something to do with slime, and tried to dye it neon green.  I think I didn’t account for some things in the process.

Also, on the printer right now is the LifeGard II monitor that the Ghostbusters wear on their belts.  Apparently it was a thing firemen would wear that would alert people if the wearer wasn’t moving for an extended period of time.  Mine is nonfunctional, just a shell, but I like adding detail.  I’m having to do it at 80% scale because anything larger wouldn’t fit on my tiny printer.

Lifegard II 3D Model on Thingiverse

 

Random Printing:

I can’t remember why or how I came across this box on Thingiverse, but I found it interesting, so I printed it.

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Inro Top.jpg

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I also thought I could use a screw tray with all the screws I’ve been taking out of the keytar prior to painting, so I printed this one (after running it through the customizer) and used some of my extra magnets on it.  I was too frustrated with superglue at the moment (I forgot that it kinda spews when it’s first opened) so I just have painter’s tape holding it in the slots right now.

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Customizable Magnetic Screw Tray/Box (with optional lid) on Thingiverse

 

Gaming:

The Outer Worlds came out last Friday.  This game is AMAZING, and I’m already getting ideas of costume props that I would like to either find or create models for.  There are a lot of cool technological bits on the outfits in that game.

I think I may have to do a review of this at some point because I LOVE THIS GAME.  Briefly:  companion social interactions are believable and contribute to the narrative, I’m not constantly chasing weapon upgrades, and I’m not bogged down in junk collection.

Downtown Columbia Mini Maker Faire

I went to the maker faire today.  Definitely a different environment from one of the bigger maker faires, and felt more casual (and comfortable).  Also kinda nice that with it being outside I got to enjoy some fresh autumn air.

Here are some of the people I came across and chatted with while I was there:

Tech Changers  www.techchangers.org

  • As I recall they teach various tech-related subjects in schools.

Sayakat Cosplay www.sayakatcosplay.com

  • A cosplayer who demonstrated some of the techniques for making cosplay armor with foam and a heat gun.

Turta LLC turta.io

  • A group that was showing a variety of Raspberry Pi hats.

ChocolateFrogs ChocolateFrogs Flickr

  • LEGO designs!  I particularly enjoyed the Stargate gateroom with Jaffa fighting SG-1.  Also, the 11th Doctor with Finn’s face, from Adventure Time.  And THE DREAD GAZEEBO!

Digital Harbor Foundation’s 3D Print Shop www.digitalharbor.org/printshop

  • A youth operated 3d printing shop.  Neat.

Rebel Legion www.rebellegion.com

  • Star Wars cosplayers.  There was a woman dressed in a well-made Rey costume, multiple lightsabers, and a guy in a really elaborate cosplay of Baze Malbus, complete with 3d printed heavy repeater cannon!

MoCo Makers www.mocomakers.com

  • These guys had some interesting stuff, including a few kickstarters they were running.  Some things that caught my attention were that they had some chips made at one point, and they had a cool display program running that changed live camera footage into outlines in an image.

Circuit Breaker Labs CircuitBreakerLabs Etsy

  • This shop makes jewelry from circuit boards.  I thought this one was particularly appropriate for the technomancer theme.
  • I got this cool necklace from this group.20191013_204010

PROJECT UPDATE 10/11/19: Test Assembly For Maker Faire

Soooo…. I need to check the Maker Faire website more frequently.  This past Sunday I was looking to see if there were any maker faires coming up at any point in the relatively near future.  Only one I saw… this upcoming Sunday!  It’s the Downtown Columbia Mini Maker Faire, in Columbia, Maryland.  Nothing else shows up on the map in my area right now, so it’s this or nothing for a while.

Enter panic mode.

I need to network and meet others in the hobby, so I’m definitely going.  I think it’d be better for conversations if I had something to show… but the only thing I had going on at the moment is the keytar project, and it’s not gonna be finished for a couple more weeks.  I’m waiting on my logo decal and I need a Saturday or Sunday morning to epoxy the greeblies and let it set for most of the day outside so I don’t fill my home with fumes.  Then letting it set, priming/painting, decals, and another few rounds of painting with clear layers.

Buuuut, I figured I could get it assembled (I had to quickly order some more parts) and have an early version of it on hand as a demonstration of what I do.  So that’s what I’ve been busy doing.

I went ahead and remade a couple of pieces to fix a couple of things I wasn’t happy with and add a grip to grab the keyboard more easily.  I also sanded and wiped down all the plastic parts I’m planning on painting, since I had already started the process.

tray.jpg

Here’s a new reference photo for the retaining nuts, by the way.

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I assembled as much as I could, waiting on the other parts to come in before dealing with the inevitable cabling issues.  I forgot how many little components needed to be added back in from the original keytar!  I had to go tracking them down from the various containers I had put them in.  I had forgotten about this thing and the button associated with it.

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Exterior

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Interior

This piece right here still needed some holes drilled and unnecessary parts trimmed off.

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The screw assortment was a LIFESAVER!  DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS SORT OF BUILD WITHOUT IT!  I kept finding out that the screws that had worked previously didn’t always work the best, or interfered with changes that had been made since their original fitting.

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I ordered a belt amp and matching audio cable to connect to the keytar to continue the whole “decker disguised as a rocker” motif.

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As some of you probably see coming, I forgot that those cables use a much larger connector.

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Facepalm

Amaz… I mean technosummoning to the rescue!  I ordered an adapter.  I checked to make sure it works by playing the Ghostbusters theme on my phone.  Works great!  Now I just have to figure out how to get comfortable with the other settings on the amp.

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I’ve designed and printed a sleeve to interface the adapter into the case through the big hole that until now served no purpose on the case.

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For now I’m using a dab of hot glue to hold it in place.  I think I can remove it later for the paint job.  First time I’m actually using this particular hot glue gun.  Anyway, a bunch of tape, command strips, and screws later, I finished getting this assembled.

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Exterior

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Interior

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IT’S ALIVE!!!

Turns out this thing is heftier than I expected.  Main thing I’m trying to figure out I’m going to carry this while walking around.  It appears that the way the strap is mounted, if I just try to rotate the sling to the back the load directions change and cause the strap to slip off the knobs.  This might have to ride slung under my arm this trip.  Maybe later I can figure out a better way to carry it.  Right now I’m just hoping it doesn’t rain, because PLA can absorb water a bit, and the case overall isn’t sealed.

Anyway, I’ve got it put together, I’ve tested it with some music on the belt amp, and I’m trying to get everything together for going to a maker faire (maker coins, additional accessories, etc).  But at least I have something more to show than just claiming I do some 3D printing.  I hope to meet people at the faire, make some contacts, and maybe get some suggestions on how to solve a couple issues.

 

In other news:

I felt I needed another thing to have on display regarding 3D printing, and since I don’t have a booth of my own it needed to also be wearable.  Well… when I was thinking about it, I was watching Extreme Ghostbusters episodes, so I decided to make a miniature of the ghost trap Kylie wears on the back of her armor.

I didn’t see one on Thingiverse, so I decided to design one from scratch on Autodesk Fusion360.  Then I had to do a bit of splicing of files for the twist lock and belt clip.  It was supposed to come off easily for handing to people to look at, but it fits a bit too snugly and I don’t really have the time to adjust the connector.

Here’s the result:

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Note, the parts for the connection are combined from other files, and they will be noted as such in the final Thingiverse entries.

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So, yeah, now I have something I can have on me to hand people to look at if they have questions or want an example.  And for any other Ghostbusters fans, I know some people are gonna disagree with the layout of the feet on the trap, but as an engineer looking at the reference picture I had, this is how they appeared to be laid out.  Three feet and a handle spread out as if there are 4 feet.

Project Update 09/30/19: Keytar Tray

This past weekend I finally drilled the holes and test fit the screws into the nuts hidden inside the backs of all the tray mount pieces.  Here’s how I have those concealed.

Retaining nuts.jpg

Retaining nuts

The screw hole is premade into the model, and there is a corresponding slot for the nut to slide into.  The slot is shaped to prevent it from turning.  With all these bits installed, here’s the keyboard held in it’s tray for ease of access to the inside of the case.

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Keyboard in tray… finally

For reference, here’s what the backside of some of the pieces look like.  The groove at the bottom is to match the screws that punch through for the hinges.  You can also see a couple of the screw holes.  I was gonna show more… but I really don’t feel like disassembling the whole tray right now.

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A couple of these holes weren’t centered quite correctly, but conveniently I was able to gently carve out the holes in the direction I needed to shift them with my 3D printing chisels.  Well… except apparently I misaligned one of the holes within a 3D printed component with the retaining nut slot, but the piece seems on solidly enough without it.  If I care enough to later I will fix the model and replace the component.  The way I’ve designed it I can replace individual parts later.

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The back of the tray with my adjustment marks.

Turns out I was still missing some screws earlier this week, and I got fed up with getting screws piecemeal when I’m always using #6-32 machine screws.  So, through great technomancy (Amazon) I summoned this kit.  It’s got everything I could possibly need in #6-32 machine screws.

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I’m sorry Home Depot, but we’re not exclusive

I also tried yet again to fix the underpower issue with the Pi itself.  I ordered this battery, and a cable with inline switch that is specifically supposed to be for a Raspberry Pi.  For a little while it seemed to work… and then I started seeing that annoying lightning bolt again.  This battery is supposed to have smart output of 5V and up to 3.1A (depending on what is attached), but it still showed a power warning.  For reference, a Pi is supposed to use 5V and 2.5A.  It may be because I had another peripheral (a thumb drive) installed at the time.

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New Battery

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New Cable

In the middle of editing this, while taking photos, I noticed this on the back.

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D’oh!  This appears to have a 2.4A limit per port like some of the others.

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Anywaaay, I’m gonna keep tweaking this thing, and see if it has something to do with a USB drive being plugged in or a change I made in the OS a while back that was supposed to use more onboard memory on the Pi rather than on the SD card.

Wish me luck!  Or, better yet, if you have any suggestions on mobile power supplies for Raspberry Pis (that don’t involve adding a hat inside the semi-sealed case of the Pi), please let me know.

 

In other news:

Still playing through Borderlands 3 as Moze.  Kinda hard to say no to having my own mech.  I bet you can guess my main in Overwatch back when I played.

I think my filament spool had a couple discontinuities in it.  I was trying to do a long print overnight this week, and this was the result.

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No power of Greyskull.  I am le sad.

I assumed that the filament had tangled and snapped.  When I went to unsnag the spool of filament… I found this:

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A segment of filament that was disconnected on both ends.  Makes me wonder if I had a faulty spool and just hadn’t come across the break in the section yet.

 

Side lessons:

Don’t ever get attached to a character in Dungeon Crawl Classics, they will die unexpectedly.  And I’m not just talking the level 0s you would expect to die.  I think I’m gonna adopt the Goblin Slayer Abridged method in the future.

NO NAMES

Maintained by Adept Ral