Exploring virtual copies of objects

August 20, 2010

A projected virtual object can be felt using a haptic device. (Matthias Harders/ETH Zurich)

Researchers at the Computer Vision Lab at ETH Zurich have developed a method to produce virtual copies of real objects that can be touched and sent via the Internet.

A 3D scanner records an image of the object.  A sensor arm with force, acceleration, and slip sensors then collects information about shape and solidity, and  a virtual copy is created on the computer. A user senses the object using a haptic (touch) device and views it with data goggles.

The sensor rod which is equipped with small motors. A computer program calculates when the virtual object and the sensor rod meet, and then sends a signal to the motors in the rod, with force feedback.

In a future “Beaming” project, the researchers plan to project images of people at remote locations for virtual meetings.

More info: ETH Zurich