One of the biggest issues with virtual reality experiences is the controllers. Too many of them require knowledge of the controller design, which is difficult when your face is covered with a headset. The ideal scenario is motion controllers, but they usually require additional sensors, like the PlayStation Eye. However, an intriguing new device, The Tactigon, is looking to fix that problem.
The Tactigon is a wearable controller that fits over the hand. Using only internal sensors, like accelerometers and gyroscopes, the device is able to detect motion. Developers and users are then able to build commands based on gestures reported by the device. For example, a developer could build circle, push and pull, etc., into their products and respond to those motions. They could also use direct input, such as for a driving simulator.
But, The Tactigon is more than just a VR controller. The device can be used for a large variety of computer and mobile products. One that was especially intriguing was for robotics. Using the direct input features of the device, you could create direct control of a robotic device. This could be a fascinating new input method for FIRST robotics teams, though likely not legal during competition.
Another interesting robotics application is for programming cobots. These robotic helpers are designed to be programmed to assist in repetitive tasks. Think of the robotic arms you've seen in videos from car factories, but often on a smaller scale. Normally, these robots have to be programmed through a painfully detailed series of steps. However, by using the input from The Tactigon, you could program the cobot simply by moving your arm and the robotic arm would follow your motion. Then, by saving the macro, the arm can replicate the motion unendingly.
To learn more about The Tactigon, check out the company's website.
Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology and Christopher Jordan of The Talking Sound.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.