This VR Controller Mod Shifts Weight To Simulate Objects

by Jamie Feltham • February 12th, 2018

We all know that bringing your hands into VR is an amazing experience, but picking up objects like swords or guns can be a little underwhelming. Currently controllers like Oculus Touch or the HTC Vive wands are unable to replicate the weight and shape of interactive items in the virtual world, but this intriguing mod gives them that ability.

Nyoibo is an experimental mod from 3D designer Manuel Rosado that attaches to the top of a Vive controller. The mechanical device consists of several weights that can expand and retract to distribute weight in relation to a virtual object you’re holding. Pick up a rifle, for example, and the weights will unfold from the end of the controller, bringing the heft you’d expect from holding the gun. Switch to a smaller weapon like an Uzi, though, and the device will fold back up and realistically simulate the shift of weight when firing. The device works with a Unity plug-in to communicate with games.

Check out the prototype in action in this video below.

It’s quite an elaborate solution but could be an effective means of getting rid of the toy-like feeling of picking up objects in VR. I know I’d certainly like to play Skyrim VR with controllers that actually felt like a sword and shield that could dynamically shift over to the weight of a bow and arrow.

Currently Rosado is working on a final version of the device with a reinforced base and joints. If the reaction to the device proves positive the developer will consider a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign to turn it into a product.

Oh and, yes, Nyoibo is named after Goku’s extendable staff in Dragon Ball.

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