Aug 4, 2013

AIREAL - 3d printed haptic feedback with air vortex pulse

Disney research is really getting into 3d printing and cutting edge technologies.

From project page:

AIREAL is a new low cost, highly scalable haptic technology that delivers expressive tactile sensations in mid air. AIREAL enables users to feel virtual objects, experience dynamically varying textures and receive feedback on full body gestures, all without requiring the user to wear a physical device. AIREAL is designed to use a vortex, a ring of air that can travel large distances while keeping its shape and speed. When the vortex hits a user’s skin, the low pressure system inside a vortex collapses and imparts a force the user can feel. The AIREAL technology is almost entirely 3D printed using a 3D printed enclosure, flexible nozzle and a pan and tilt gimbal structure capable of a 75-degree targeting field. Five actuators are mounted around the enclosure which displaces air from the enclosed volume, through the flexible nozzle and into the physical environment. The actuated flexible nozzle allows a vortex to be precisely delivered to any location in 3D space.


I can see that this is a technology which is simple enough that someone could make DIY version of it. Also: one could make an entire room covered in AIREAL like arrays ...

Parts of 3d printed enclosure:

Full device:

Full research paper:

Here is new project form Disney, 3d printable felt soft toys: