Back in 2014, a company called Dexta Robotics launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund development of their “VR Exoskeleton glove” called the Dexmo (Article on it from roadtovr.com). Its a big ungainly looking thing, and I can easily envision a users hands bumping into each other through normal use, but the core function is great. It gives resistive feedback to your own hands, reflecting what you are virtually touching if using it with a VR headset. Alternatively, with some adaption, it could reflect what your Mech is physically touching. To avoid smashing all things you grasp with your Mech’s cold dead metal hands, this is critical for any Mech that will touch objects more sensitive that rocks and solid steel. As I alluded to, this glove is not designed specifically for Mech or robot control (at least not that I’ve seen so far), but its function is ultimately what is needed to safely handle objects while operating a Mech. Certainly, sensors will be needed in the hands/grippers of a Mech, but that is the case for any feedback system. The glove is the other half of that equation, applying that sensory data directly to your own flesh.
Unfortunately, the Kickstart campaign failed. However, all is not lost! It appears the team has persevered and maybe will have a product for sale soon? Or maybe they’re looking for a larger company to buy them for their device and its associated intellectual property. I cant really tell from the website, but it has some interesting information on it.
Check out the video below, and for more info, head to their website: http://www.dextarobotics.com