Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles & SenseGlove Force Feedback Gloves For VR Training
SenseGlove Nova used for automotive VR training to assemble Volkswagen T6 vehicle; Haptic force feedback gloves improve VR simulation and allow trainees to physically feel the virtual parts of the vehicle
SenseGlove, a leading developer of force feedback gloves for VR, today unveiled results of a SenseGlove case study conducted in cooperation with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, a leading manufacturer of light commercial vehicles. SenseGlove Nova is a haptic force-feedback glove designed specifically for professional VR training purposes. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles implemented and tested SenseGlove Nova for automotive VR training in assembling a Volkswagen T6 door in order to improve the realism of VR simulation and to protect the expensive vehicles from damage that could potentially occur during on-hands training. Assembly line trainees who donned SenseGlove Nova haptic force feedback gloves in a virtual environment were able to physically feel the virtual parts of the vehicle, explore the details of the virtual door, and interact with them in a natural way. View a short video of SenseGlove Nova for a Volkswagen T6 van assembly here.
SenseGlove Nova features a flexible form-factor in combination with unparalleled haptic technologies and smooth hand tracking that enables users to feel shapes, textures, stiffness, impacts and resistance in virtual reality easier than ever before. Nova’s level of usability and touch-enabling technology helps to upscale all kinds of VR training programs, such as training to handle hazardous materials, carrying out complex tasks with multiple tools and objects, learning to design and test physical prototypes.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has experimented with VR and haptics for the past few years in order to improve the efficiency of its pre-training program and save time. VR enables Volkswagen employees to train from any location without the need to visit the company’s professional showroom to access the vehicles. The combination of haptic gloves in combination with VR helps to increase the realism of VR training and allows trainees to get familiar with the equipment at the early stage of production. “We want to make the pre-training as realistic as possible for two reasons. First, it saves time. The employees from the line do not have to come to our physical location to train; they can experience it in VR. Second, it enables us to keep the expensive pre-series vehicles we need here in the professional showroom in order to qualify the employees,” said Friedrich Mattiszik, Head of Production System at Volkswagen.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles began testing SenseGlove Nova in 2021 in an effort to compare traditional VR training with controllers to VR training that uses haptic force-feedback gloves. Traditional VR training allowed Volkswagen to protect the training equipment from being damaged, however it did not allow trainees to interact naturally. Additionally, the need to continuously keep the controllers in the user’s hands meant trainees were unable to grab things, let them go again or feel the details of different sizes in their hands.
“One hundred percent of the trainees who completed the T6 vehicle assembly training found it more realistic to work with SenseGlove Nova versus the controller, simply because they could do more, like grabbing things. It just feels more realistic,” added Marcos Antelo Barrio, Trainer at Volkswagen. The trainees who tested SenseGlove Nova in comparison to the the controllers also appreciated the added realism and natural interactions with the gloves: “I personally think one generally gets a better feedback, because you put things together, like two plugs, and it simply feels more real,” stated one Volkswagen Trainee.
The feeling of realistic physical interaction is possible due to the combination of SenseGlove’s force feedback, vibrotactile feedback and motion capture features. The features play an especially important role for assembly training: force-feedback gloves allow the wearer to feel the parts of equipment that need to be assembled and also ascertain the difference between their sizes and density of each part. SenseGlove Nova’s vibrotactile feedback enables trainees to feel every impact when they connect or insert the parts, as well as the vibration when they work with a drilling machine, for example. Combined with motion capture, the features allow the trainees to interact in a similar way as they would in a physical training.
SenseGlove launched its inaugural haptic feedback glove, the DK1 in 2018, and the second iteration, the SenseGlove Nova at CES 2021. SenseGlove products have since been purchased and applied by more than 100 corporations and institutions, including Volkswagen, the European Space Agency, the Royal Dutch Army, Airbus, Scania, Procter & Gamble, Siemens, Cambridge University and Fraunhofer.
SenseGlove develops force and haptic feedback gloves that enable professionals to feel virtual objects and interact with them more efficiently for VR training and enterprise purposes. SenseGlove’s proprietary force feedback technology enables lifelike interactions that allow users to feel the size, density and resistance of virtual objects. Unlike controllers, the haptic force feedback gloves allow the wearer to hold, push, touch, connect and squeeze the virtual like it is real.
Founded in 2017 and headquartered in the YES!Delft Tech Incubator in the Netherlands, SenseGlove is a privately held company backed by Forward.one and Value Creation Capital. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter, or learn more at senseglove.com.