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Virtual Tennis Racket Uses Air Jet to Recreate Feel of Hitting Ball

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Images of the AirRacket discharging compressed air (below), and how it appears within a virtual reality game (above).

Credit: AirRacket

Researchers at National Taiwan University, Canada's University of Waterloo, and the University of Maryland together developed the AirRacket, a virtual reality controller that emits bursts of compressed air to simulate a ball's impact in racket sports.

The researchers designed the three-dimensionally-printed carbon-fiber AirRacket to incorporate cylinders of compressed air, while a perceptual illusion makes ball hits feel up to four times bigger than they actually are.

David Swapp at the U.K.'s University College London said the air jet's sound and the force of the racket add to the illusion of playing tennis.

Test participants said the controller made the game feel more immersive, while the impact sensations helped them target shots and sense how well they were hitting the ball.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2022 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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