Radiophysicists created a device to feel strokes and tickling in VR

15 April 2020

TSU radiophysicists have created a device with which you can feel tickling, burning, and pain. This technology can be used, for example, in online games. Now the creators are finalizing the device so that a person can feel the illusion of movement, for example, how a mosquito is sitting on his skin, or someone is drawing on his body. The project is being developed by student radiophysicist Andrei Kostornoy under the guidance of Sergey Pobachenko, associate professor at the Faculty of Radiophysics.

Today, there are three main technologies for creating feedback in VR - limiting freedom of movement with the help of an exoskeleton, a vibrating motor, and electrical stimulation. TSU radiophysicists, inspired by the Belarusian TeslaSuit technology, use electrical stimulation. However, the radiophysicists’ device acts not on muscles that get tired from prolonged exposure, but only on human skin.

- The impact is on a certain area of the skin, and individual settings are needed, because people have different electro-skin resistances, - said project author Andrei Kostornoy. - When you touch an object, the image of this effect is already stored in the head, the incoming signal is processed, and the brain compares it with the existing ones and completes the sensation to being tactile.

Now scientists are finalizing the device to create the player’s interaction with various objects and characters, for example, touching someone else’s palm. The development of signal-code communications, for example, for controlling robots, is considered promising. After the end of the self-isolation regime, the tests on volunteers will begin.