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Monthly Archives: December 2015

Samsung Gear VR (2015) Retail Mod for Note 4
Photo Dec 18, 11 30 51 AM

VR is here, and it’s here to stay. It remind me of the “Wild West” days that 3D software packages had decades ago. Companies like Softimage, Maya, 3D Studio Max, and Lightwave were all “Shooting Out” for a stake in the claim, and it was very exciting to see the technology advance. Roll forward and this is happening again with every large company investing in the VR Headset market. What happens when the technology moves this fast is some get left in the dust. I have been developing and creating content with a Samsung Note 4 with the Samsung Gear VR (Innovator Edition) for quite some time. I was excited to hear of  the new Gear VR (2015) Retail Version, but was disappointed to learn that it wouldn’t support the Note 4.

Photo Dec 18, 11 31 28 AM

I picked up the $99 release version and wanted to take a closer look and see if a mod could make this work with the Note 4. The (2015) Retail Version has spring loaded pins that support four different phones (Samsung Edge6, Edge 6+, Note 5).

Photo Dec 18, 11 31 15 AM
After taking some initial measurements, it looked like the Note 4 was about 2mm to big vertically, and it would fit on the horizontal.

Photo Dec 18, 11 31 11 AM
I already knew the headset would fire up from earlier tests when I plugged the phone in to the headset and even though it was on a angle and wouldn’t fit in, I did see the phone start up with the Gear VR App.
Photo Dec 18, 11 32 49 AM
I thought I could easily use a Dremel to remove enough plastic to make it fit as I’d only have to remove approx 1mm from the top, and 1mm from the bottom. The tricky part would be to Dremel and not cause any damage to the spring loaded pins. Tape was used to prevent plastic shavings from getting inside the unit.
Photo Dec 18, 2 07 48 PM
I used an exacto knife to hold the pins down as I dremeled away at the plastic. Slowly I dremeled away at the plastic and did each of the four corners. I also dremeled away in the middle.
Photo Dec 18, 1 41 42 PM
After cleaning up the edges with an exacto knife, it was the moment of truth and see if this works. I put the Note 4 into the newly modded Gear VR, and it worked. The first thing I noticed was it was brighter than my Original Innovator edition. The camera correction isn’t perfect, the video seems a little large, and there are some ripples in the stitching, but overall this thing ROCKS!!!

Photo Dec 18, 8 40 39 PMa

SoftRobotic 5 Sided Gripper. This robot is an adaptation of PneuNets and the amazing work from the Harvard Whitesides Research Group. The SoftRobot is a Multi-Material Pneumatic Actuator and is powered by a small air pump. The process is completely automated using an Arduino, air pump, solenoid valve, and a stepper motor. The SoftRobot can easily lift the Sphero (18.1 grams). To assure even wall thickness and reduce blowouts, five molds were designed and 3D Printed.