UK startup Senmag Robotics, a specialist in the technology of touch known as haptics, is expanding development of its new device, a revolutionary, lower cost replacement for the motion controllers that are used throughout the computer industry.
Senmag’s plug-in 9D Stylus is the “first affordable, comprehensive interaction device for 3D, virtual and augmented reality applications enhancing realism and experiences,” says chief executive and electronics engineer Spyros Lavetzis.
Offering 3D force feedback and tracking in six directions, the stylus robot pushes back through motors aided by software simulation. Users can feel any shape, weight and texture enabling them to move and physically interact smoothly within any digital world.
The innovation from Senmag (www.senmagrobotics.com) has applications in multiple fields from engineering and the arts to gaming and telerobotics. The cost will be 70 per cent less than current controllers.
“Current devices are point-and-click based and for 2D. We elevate this, our stylus is designed to be truly ubiquitous, and we are focussing first on the 3D design and training/rehabilitation markets,” explains Lavetzis who co-founded the company with human computer interaction expert Gareth Barnaby.
Everything from the 3D printed, laser cut frame to the electronics is designed and built in-house by the Bristol-based company. It’s now calling for early adopters to take part in a pilot and plans to seek £250,000 of growth funding this year, perhaps from an angel with hardware startups’ experience and financial expertise.
“Touch as a sense has fallen behind compared to sight,” says Lavetzis. “Our goal is to democratise the technology. Feeling is believing.” Senmagrobotics.com