Sensing Virtual Reality: Practical Seminar on Dynamic Passive Haptics

Seminar - Winter 2018/2019



André ZennerDonald DegraenFlorian Daiber and Felix Kosmalla

The seminar will be held in English.



Humans perceive the real world with many different senses - by seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting it. Virtual Reality (VR) systems today also enable the perception of virtual environments but primarily use visual and auditory feedack to immerse the user in a virtual world. In addition to that, haptic feedback, i.e. the sense of touch, can enhance a user's feeling of presence significantly and allows VR users to feel properties of virtual objects and the virtual environment.

This seminar explores a novel technique to provide haptic sensations during a VR experience, called Dynamic Passive Haptic Feedback (DPHF).
The practical seminar will introduce the concept of DPHF and explain how to design and prototype VR controllers that provide dynamic passive haptic feedback to a VR user.
Participants will develop a novel DPHF controller for VR in groups during the semester - from concept to working prototype - using digital fabrication techniques, Arduino and Unity VR programming, as well as tracking systems.


Learning Objectives

  • Understanding the design process of dynamic passive haptic devices.
  • Gain hands-on experience in
    • creating a haptic VR controller
    • embedded systems development
    • digital fabrication (3D printing, laser cutting, ...)
  • Integration of low-level (Arduino) with high-level (Unity 3D engine) systems


Application (open from 26.09.2018 - 12:00 until 21.10.2018 - 23:59)

We ask you to write a small motivational letter why you would like to attend the seminar, as we only have limited spots available.
Application closes on the 21th of October and we will notify about your acceptance on the 26th of October.
The attendance to all scheduled meetings (see table below) is mandatory to pass the seminar (no exceptions, unless with medical certificate).

Application Form


Important Dates

Date Time Room Topic Material
21.10.2018 23:59 - Deadline: Application Application Form
26.10.2018 - - Notification of Acceptance  
 29.10.2018 12:15 - 14:00 DFKI (Reuse, Foyer) Kick-Off Slides
04.11.2018 23:59 - Deadline: Idea Slide  
05.11.2018 12:15 - 14:00 DFKI (Reuse, Foyer) Pitch of Ideas  
12.11.2018 12:15 - 14:00 DFKI (Reuse, Foyer) Announcement of Topics  
12.11.2018 23:59 - Deadline: Vote for Preferences  
13.11.2018 - - Announcement of Group Assignments  
19.11.2018 12:15 - 14:00 DFKI (Reuse, Foyer) Concept Presentations  
19.11.2018 - 30.11.2018 - - Meet with Advisor  
01.12.2018 - - Start Work  
17.12.2018 23:59 - Deadline: Progress Report #1  
14.01.2019 23:59 - Deadline: Progress Report #2  
28.01.2019 12:15 - 14:00 DFKI (Reuse, Foyer) Mid-Term Presentations  
11.02.2019 23:59 - Deadline: Progress Report #3  
25.02.2019 12:15 - 14:00 DFKI (Reuse, Foyer) Final Presentations  
04.03.2019 23:59 - Deadline: Final Report  



The lectures "Programming 1 & 2" must be passed.

This seminar is directed at Bachelor / Master students in Media Informatics / Computer Science / Embedded Systems.