PumpVR: Rendering the Weight of Objects and Avatars through Liquid Mass Transfer in Virtual Reality

Alexander Kalus, Martin Kocur, Johannes Klein, Manuel Mayer, Niels Henze

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingsConference contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Perceiving objects’ and avatars’ weight in Virtual Reality (VR) is important to understand their properties and naturally interact with them. However, commercial VR controllers cannot render weight. Controllers presented by previous work are single-handed, slow, or only render a small mass. In this paper, we present PumpVR that renders weight by varying the controllers’ mass according to the properties of virtual objects or bodies. Using a bi-directional pump and solenoid valves, the system changes the controllers’ absolute weight by transferring water in or out with an average error of less than 5%. We implemented VR use cases with objects and avatars of different weights to compare the system with standard controllers. A study with 24 participants revealed significantly higher realism and enjoyment when using PumpVR to interact with virtual objects. Using the system to render body weight had significant effects on virtual embodiment, perceived exertion, and self-perceived fitness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2023 - Proceedings of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450394215
ISBN (Print)9781450394215
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2023

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


  • weight interface
  • weight perception
  • virtual embodiment
  • virtual reality
  • haptic controllers


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  • Honorable Mention Award

    Kalus, Alexander (Recipient), Kocur, Martin (Recipient), Klein, Johannes (Recipient), Mayer, Manuel (Recipient) & Henze, Niels (Recipient), 19 Apr 2023



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