Mochitsuki is a traditional Japanese cultural event to make "mochi" (rice cake) by pounding steamed rice using a pestle. Mochitsuki-VR is an interactive VR system that reproduces the feeling of Mochitsuki. This system won the Grand Prix at The 25th International Collegiate Virtual Reality Contest (IVRC 2017).
Rice cake has long been a special food for celebrations. Mochitsuki is held as a local event and it provides an opportunity of communication across wide range of the age. Unfortunately, however, many Mochitsuki festivals have been cancelled since 2016 due to norovirus. Therefore we propose to provide opportunities to virtually experience Mochitsuki by a VR system.
There are various elements in the experience of mochi, and in this work, We intended to reproduce the haptic experience (impact) at the moment when the pestle hits the rice cake, the feeling of the rice cake stretching and sticking to the pestle.
Because it is very difficult to reproduce these feelings using a generic haptic device, we designed the system to take advantage of using real objects to provide realistic haptic sensations, while parts of the system are electronically controllable to make the system interactive.