SG Transmission is now spending a significant amount of time developing electromagnetic brakes for virtual reality (VR) technology, as its research and development team provide solutions to assist in safety, therapy and well-being applications.
Once associated predominantly with gaming, virtual reality is fast becoming a boom industry for many sectors, where the availability of immersive experiences in a virtual world provide users with anything from shopping to training/education, and therapy simulation to prosthetic limbs.
SG Transmission is using its own electromagnetic engineering in partnership with a number of consultant project teams to provide bespoke, precision brakes for virtual reality technology including exoskeleton suits and physiotherapy treatment devices.
The in-house design team sees the projects through from inception to completion to enable a total project solution, mainly with highly engineered electromagnetic brakes and bespoke, permanent magnetic brakes.
Nick Goddard, Research and Development Manager at SG Transmission, explains: “We have seen a significant rise in enquiries for brakes that will become part of virtual worlds. Due to the technical nature of these requirements and the challenges that brings, there are very few companies who will commit the amount of time needed for research and development.
“Some of the brakes we are using at the moment are extremely lightweight, yet they still have to bring enough force to allow the user to operate a device in a ‘real world’ scenario and must be fail-safe ensuring no harm to the user or damage to the equipment. Aside from this they also have to be particularly small in size.
“The only way you can provide all of these things is by thinking outside of the box and coming up with solutions that haven’t been thought of before. For example, challenging the specifications we receive to see if projects can be developed in different ways, despite us being only a small part of a project.
“We are lucky that our core focus for 40 years has been innovation in electromagnets, so we have seen a lot of projects through the doors. Virtual reality is just another challenge for our design team, but one that is very rewarding.”