Soft Robotic Glove for Haptic Feedback in Virtual Reality

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Project Overview

Current virtual reality technologies rely heavily on visual and audio feedback as a form of sensory feedback. Most existing wearable haptic devices use vibrating motors, which are unable to provide force feedback, or rigid linkage devices which are bulky and inflexible. We address this issue with a wearable soft robotic glove capable of safely applying forces to the fingers of the user. The glove design includes a soft exoskeleton actuated by Mckibben muscles that are controlled using a custom fluidic control board. The result is a haptic glove that is compliant, compact and unintimidating. We demonstrated its application with a virtual reality environment that simulates playing the piano and received positive preliminary feedback from users. This glove represents a step toward developing natural 3D user interfaces by replacing the existing wand controllers. My current research is focused on modifying the glove to make it more complaint and simulate the shape of the object in virtual reality as you grab it using your hand.

You can find the haptic glove video here

The soft robotics setup
Glove with McKibben muscle actuators

Project Goals

  • Integrate the Unity engine with Arduino MEGA and Fluidic Control Board
  • Build a piano environment in Unity
  • Develop the hardware for kinesthetic haptic feedback
  • Integrate the hardware, and the Unity environment together.

Project Advisers

  • Dr. Jurgen Schulze
  • Dr. Michael Tolley


  • Haptics
  • Unity
  • Soft Robotics
  • Mckibben Muscles
  • Fluidic Control Board
  • Leap Motion


You can find the publication here.


Jacobs School News, "A glove powered by soft robotics to interact with virtual reality environments", May 30, 2017.

UploadVR, "New VR Glove Uses Muscle-Like Chambers To Simulate Touch", June 7th 2017." .

Kurzweil AI, "VR glove powered by soft robotics provides missing sense of touch", June 2, 2017. .

VR Scout, " These gloves let you play piano in VR - and FEEL it", June 9, 2017. .

3DPrint,"Soft Robotics and 3D Printing Used to Make Flexible Gloves that Allow Users to Experience Tactile Feedback in a VR", Jun 1, 2017 . .