Immersive Virtual Reality : Engineering Application ?· Conclusion: Immersive virtual reality has shown…

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  • Immersive Virtual Reality : Engineering Application in

    Space Environment Author: Matthew Lau

    Supervisor: Mr. John Page, Dr. Nathan Kinkaid

    Research Theme: The Digital Future

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    Immersive virtual reality is a fast developing technology in which the user is tricked into a computer simulated environment by means of

    manipulating the users senses, mainly through sight, hearing and touch. The user will feel his/her presence in the virtual environment rather

    than the physical world and hence the user is immersed into a virtual reality. Immersion technology has found its use in different fields

    including the gaming, medical and military fields.

    Future Improvements:

    Improving textures and physics interaction to enhance realism of the


    Integration with other sensory controls such as a data glove that provides

    input and feedback

    Adding avatars to simulate human interactions

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    Investigate the current immersion technology for space engineering


    Assess current virtual reality engines based on their suitability for

    engineering purposes

    Explore the effect of immersion experience in stimulating innovative space


    Results and Discussions:

    o Precise physics needs to be implemented in the engine for meaningful engineering use, in addition quality of the texture significantly affects the realism of the immersed


    o Immersion enabled the user to experience the virtual environment and hence allowing a deeper understanding to what the user previously perceived, stimulating

    potential innovative designs

    o Motion sickness is a major concern due to the disorientation within the immersed space environment

    o Most commercially available virtual reality engines are gaming engines, however they are capable of delivering accurate physics required for engineering applications.

    o The realism of the immersion experience can be enhanced by integrating with suitable devices depending on the applications

    o Engineering software generates models that have better control over physical properties such as dimensions however less capable of applying textures when compared

    to models generated from graphics design software


    Immersive virtual reality has shown potential in engineering application in a space environment however future

    improvements are needed to provide more sense of realism

    There is a lack of available engineering virtual reality engines however gaming engines are viable substitutes

    The use of immersion has potential in stimulating innovative design due to the users experience in unfamiliar


    Texture and





    into Engine

    Virtual Reality





    Construction Immersion


    Existing Virtual



    Despite the many great uses of immersive virtual reality, there has been a lack of engineering

    application of this technology.

    Currently, immersion technology has trended towards the gaming industry which focused on

    graphics more than physics which is the opposite for ideal engineering applications

    Space environment is hostile and unknown to many, including engineers thus it is difficult to

    enable efficient space design

    Refinement Refinement

    Figure 5.) Immersion testing set-up

    Joystick movement


    Oculus Rift - Head Mounted


    Unity3d Virtual Reality


    Figure 1.)

    Immersive Virtual


    Figure 2.) CATIA model of

    the International Space


    Figure 3.) Virtual Reality


    Figure 4.) Immersion

    testing with Oculus Rift

    Figure 6.) Virtual

    Environment outside the

    International Space