In the corner of the TU Delft Campus, the start-up SenseGlove is building the future of Virtual Reality (VR). Consisting of a team of twelve entrepreneurial minds, SenseGlove develops a hand exoskeleton that ‘makes the digital feel real’. COO Niels Bogerd explains that the gloves can be applied in many ways, ‘varying from virtual training in machine maintenance, to evaluating prototypes in VR’.
Although the product has already been on the market for two years, SenseGlove is still keen on innovating and wants to maintain its position at the cutting edge of VR. This spring, they are working together with five talented students of TU Delft.
A digital translator
One development goal for SenseGlove is the automatic integration of the glove (the exoskeleton hand) with virtual reality. Lead developer Max Lammers explains: ‘Currently this is done manually, meaning that each virtual reality simulation needs programming modifications to work with the glove. By using a universal translator between the hardware and the software, new updates of the glove and potential other new hardware products automatically fit the requirements of the virtual reality software.’
SenseGlove submitted this challenge to the Software Project, a project carried out by bachelor students in their second year of the Computer Science programme at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science. During this project, student teams experience the entire process of real-world software development.
Under supervision of Lammers, five students are now building the translator that enables new versions of the glove to communicate almost automatically with virtual reality software. In addition to detailed instructions of the assignment, the student team received a set of gloves to use during their assignment to obtain actual data and perform tests. Now, eight weeks further, the students have almost finished the design and prototyping of their new software.
‘The tracking of hand motions is already fully captured in the software, I am really impressed’, says Lammers. ‘Due to the complexity of the assignment, the students educate themselves in necessary knowledge. They even outpace me in certain skills now.’ The Corona crisis has complicated the project somewhat since the students cannot meet face to face. ‘But they solved that quite quickly by using Google Hangout for communication and ‘recording’ movements with the glove so that each student had access to the data.’
So, why work together with students? Lammers: ‘They really help us to reach the long-term R&D goals we have. There are so many projects going on at our company and there are a lot of short-term matters that require our attention. These students are enthusiastic, talented and fully committed to make our ideas work.’ In two weeks, the students will deliver a prototype software which SenseGlove is eager to implement.
This collaboration is initiated by the Delft on Internet of Things (Do IoT) Fieldlab. We offer an open platform focused on the development and use of Internet of Things and 5G. Researchers, companies, government and students can develop and test IoT applications based on the latest wireless communication technology in collaboration with the fieldlab. Together, we accelerate innovation in mobility, industry, logistics, agro, health and safety. Follow us online on LinkedIn or Twitter!