VirtualBricks: Exploring a Scalable, Modular toolkit for Enabling Physical Manipulation in VR

Arora, J., Saini, A., Mehra, N., Jain, V., Shrey, S., Parnami, A.


Often Virtual Reality (VR) experiences are limited by the design of standard controllers. This work aims to liberate a VR developer from these limitations in the physical realm to provide an expressive match to the limitless possibilities in the virtual realm. VirtualBricks is a LEGO based toolkit that enables construction of a variety of physical-manipulation enabled controllers for VR, by offering a set of feature bricks that emulate as well as extend the capabilities of default controllers. Based on the LEGO platform, the toolkit provides a modular, scalable solution for enabling passive haptics in VR. We demonstrate the versatility of our designs through a rich set of applications including re-implementations of artifacts from recent research. We share a VR Integration package for integration with Unity VR IDE, the CAD models for the feature bricks, for easy deployment of VirtualBricks within the community.


Pose brick to provide position, orientation information
Rotation brick to enable single-axis rotation manipulation
Retraction brick to enable single-axis linear translation manipulation


Publication

Arora, J., Saini, A., Mehra, N., Jain, V., Shrey, S., Parnami, A. 2019. VirtualBricks: Exploring a Scalable, Modular toolkit for Enabling Physical Manipulation in VR. To appear in Proceedings of the ACM annual conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Glasgow, Scotland, May 4 9, 2019). CHI 19. ACM, New York, NY.