Samsung funding artificial muscles for VR use

Samsung is funding the development of an artificial muscle actuator, designed to provide an immersive tactile system with a sensing capability for AR glasses and fitted haptics.

The study, published in Nature Communications, was funded and supported by Samsung’s Advanced Institute of Technology, as well as the Ajou University Research Fund and the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea.

The artificial muscle actuator, the compliant amplified SMA actuator (CASA), has an actuation strain of 300% under 80g of external payload, 800 times higher than its weight.

The actuator combines an SMA wire and a compliant structure that amplifies the feeling of strain without heavy rigid components.

During tests, researchers introduced a prototype pair of AR glasses and a soft, glove-type haptic device, enabling the glasses to harness image depth control to relieve visual fatigue. The haptic glove generates high pressure to provide large skin-deformation sensations for the user without heavy and bulky actuation components.

CASA was also used as a resistance-type force sensor to detect external contact, providing sensing and actuation function without embedding separate actuators and sensors in the haptic device.

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