As part of my role as an Associate Student Researcher at The University of Hull I developed a Virtual Reality Air Hockey Experience. The project makes use of two mobile phones as mobile HMD’s with 3D printed enclosure’s. Attached to these enclosures are motion tracking markers which can be picked up by the department’s Vicon Tracking System. A VRPN client was compiled on each phone allowing it to receive its own position and orientation from the tracking system. This allows the user to walk around a virtual room.
The motion tracking system also tracks a number of other objects. Firstly a marker object was created to define the position and rotation of a table in the physical world. This allowed for a replica table to be rendered in the correct position and rotation in the virtual environment. The tracking system also tracks two physical air hockey “mallets”. these mallets can be used by the players to knock the air hockey “puck” around the virtual table.
A PC version of the application was developed to manage a player lobby and synchronise the puck and player scores. This also allows a third person to view the virtual environment in its entirety.
I also began work on a haptic feedback version of the air hockey mallets using an Arduino Nano, HC-06 Bluetooth module and mobile phone vibration motors. A future look back at the project may produce a working haptic device as well as the use of full Inverse Kinematics to create in-game player avatars. The nature of the project should also allow for more than one Vicon Tracking space to be used allowing people to play remotely.
Features & Technologies:
Multi User distributed virtual environment.
Vicon Tracking System Integration.
VRPN native Unity plugins. (PC and Android)
3D printed HMD’s.
3D printed input devices.
Client Server Unity Networking Architecture.
Configurable Table Size.
Mobile VR HMD headset designs: