Holotron: a full-body exoskeleton for virtual reality

Humans have five basic senses: touch, sight, hearing, taste and smell and the combination of them allows us to know and experience the world around us. Today, thanks to the development of increasingly advanced and cutting-edge technology, we are able to experiment and explore also what is called virtual reality, that is the imitation of reality in a virtual environment which is processed by computers. 

The innovative and advanced virtual reality technology is used not only for entertainment in the world of video games, but also in the world of design, medicine and sports. Just think about the helmets or glasses that allow users to meet fictitious contexts and live a totally immersive experience useful also for the surgery or motor rehabilitation sectors. 

A few days ago the German entrepreneur Marcel Reese announced the new and ambitious project called Holotron. The inventor Reese has created the first full-body exoskeleton that should be able to let us perceive and dominate the forces that our avatar feels. It is still a prototype, but the main goal is to notice the movements of feet, legs and pelvis (therefore of the lower part of the body) in order to be able to reproduce them in a virtual reality and in real time. 

Through a video presentation, the German entrepreneur and his team showed their project still under development, the prototype structure is made with wooden and metal parts, there are also several cables and electrical circuits that make it a rather imposing and bulky device. The footage shows Holotron’s performance allowing people to walk, jump and run in virtual locations. The user is suspended in the air with his legs locked in two systems equipped with sensors that offer the perception of movement, strength and physical endurance. Probably in the future Reese will make these sensors and electrical circuits available for other parts of the body such as hands, arms and back. 

The exoskeleton allows you to climb stairs, walk on moving stones, keep your balance on a skateboard, bounce on an elastic surface and be hit by a heavy ball. Reese’s future goal is to modify the prototype by creating a device fixed on the floor and with a more attractive design that can rotate the user 360 degrees. 

Some people are rather sceptical about the usefulness of devices created to experience virtual reality, but there are many chances that, in the future, this new technology will also prevail over the senses of taste and smell. 

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