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Simulating virtual surface friction on a physical object

I am looking at physical exertion levels in immersive environments.
I’m creating a VR game where the user has to push a virtual box around a room.
The dimensions and location of the virtual box will sync up with those of a real world box that the user will be pushing.
Cube size 1m³, room size 10m³.

The idea would be that the virtual box would move easily over a virtual surface such as ice but require more exertion over a surface such as gravel.
I want the movement of the physical box to mimic the virtual friction level in the game environment so that the level of exertion required to push the box changes during game play and can be dynamically altered from the game engine in realtime.

The only hardware setup I can think of using is placing wheels on a 1m³ crate and attaching an electromagnetic or electromechanical wheel/brake system. The level of brake friction would be altered using an arduino controller via the ue4duino plugin. Unfortunately I can only source brake/wheel systems for remote controlled small toy cars whereas I need something larger and robust which would withstand greater exertion/pressure.

The project is flexible in so far as it doesn’t need to be a box or use wheels but it does need to be movable.
If anyone knows where I could source a more robust brake/wheel system or if anyone knows of a better solution I’d appreciate any feedback.