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Virtual tennis racket uses air jet to recreate feel of hitting a ball

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A controller named the AirRacket shoots out a burst of compressed air to create strong forces similar to those people made when hanging a ball

Technology



10 May well 2022


A controller that shoots out bursts of compressed air can simulate racket sporting activities like tennis, badminton and desk tennis in digital truth.

Until eventually now, movie online games these as Wii Athletics have employed vibrations to give players the perception of hitting a ball in simulated versions of tennis.

“It’s completely different from what you come to feel if you can actually hit a ball,” states Mike Chen at Countrywide Taiwan College in Taipei. “Our get the job done is the initial racket that will allow you to really feel that directional force suitable from the impression of the ball.”

Chen and his colleagues developed a 3D-printed carbon-fibre controller named the AirRacket to much better simulate how rackets react to ball impacts. The AirRacket makes use of cylinders of compressed air adapted from paintball guns, which can create instantaneous, robust forces equivalent to those people manufactured when putting a ball.

The system relies on a perceptual illusion to make the impression force really feel up to 4 moments larger than it really is. “When you have a more time pressure, you understand the magnitude of that force to be larger,” states Chen.

When people today tested the AirRacket in the lab, they noted that as effectively as building the game truly feel additional immersive, the impact sensations assisted them focus on their pictures and feel how properly they were hitting the ball.

Chen and his staff introduced the get the job done at the Convention on Human Variables in Computing Techniques in New Orleans, Louisiana, on 3 May.

“It’s exploiting what all digital actuality does, which is seeking to consider benefit of our perceptual constraints and to trick us into believing some feeling that isn’t actually there,” claims David Swapp at College School London.

The combination of the audio of the air jet and the pressure of the racket also helps trick people into believing they are participating in tennis, states Swapp.

The sensation of hitting a ball in true existence involves a mixture of diverse sensations in addition to the ball’s pressure, this sort of as vibration and oscillation. Some buyers claimed that the pressure felt a small weak for some of the heaviest balls, like all those applied in tennis. Long run designs could deliver more certain vibration designs and frequencies for sure sports to increase the level of realism, states Chen.

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