Meet Dexmo, Dexta Robotics robo-exoskeleton that let’s you feel VR objects in real life
The future is here!
The rise of Virtual Reality has sparked a lot of interesting projects that aim to add to the base experience provided by VR gearsets that are manufactured by Oculus, HTC and Vive and even PlayStation, which commonly only include headsets and controllers. One recent example of such project that aims to, not only add to the VR experience but create a whole new Mixed Reality experience of its own is Dexta Robotics’ Dexmo, a wearable exoskeletal haptic glove that let’s you “feel” virtual objects as if holding them in real life.
Dexmo is currently the sole project of the China-based Dexta Robotics which was founded back in 2014. Spending 2 years looking to perfect the mixed-reality experience, Dexta lists 20 different iterations of the Dexmo before arriving to their latest build which we are seeing today.
Apart from the VR Game Experience, Dexta also wants Dexmo to be part in other possible field for VR technology such as technical training, medical practice and educational purposes, by upping the ante of Augmented Reality in using haptic feedback not only to simulate the feel of virtual objects but going as far as interacting with them as if using your actual human hand.
Dexmo’s MR capabilities are done using robust calculations that help send the necessary variable force to each of the user’s fingers in the hand where it is worn, to help simulate the shape and stiffness or softness of the object, through the in-VR avatar. However, as it may perform tasks such as grasping and handling, elements such as simulating surface object texture may still be largely absent.
While it maybe a first when it comes to capabilities, Dexmo may not be the very first in the field of Mixed Reality as other projects have went down the course of history offering in-game in experiences to be felt in real life such as picking up objects or even simulating bullet impacts.
For instance, a half remembered project from the early 2000s which I can only remember being called as “The Glove” lets you pick up in-game objects, other products that also offer similar experiences to the Dexmo include the Hands Omni Glove and the Manus VR Glove, albeit minus the stiffness/softness simulation. Other wearables also include KOR-FX’s video game vest that also uses haptic feedback technology to let you feel bullet impacts and explotions and is already integrated in games such as Star Wars: Battlefront.
But when will the Dexmo be made available? Not anytime soon as far as we know, currently, the Dexta Robotics team is still working on improving the Dexmo experience further by making advances to its current algorithm. In addition to a consumer version, Dexta may also plan to release a kit for Developers as an SDK is planned to be made available for easy access of technical data.
Dexmo is the debut product of the China-based Dexta Robotics founded last August 2014 and is currently headed by Xiaochi Gu.