List of VR Simulator Experiences
VR experiences elevate our senses in a vast expanse of virtual worlds and closely imitate – if not replicate or even enhance – the things we do in the physical world. Some experiences also give us the chance to live our most imaginative fantasies and dreams with the help of robotic simulators. In this article we take a closer look into robotic simulator experiences that are being developed in university labs and research centers, and what these simulators can promise for the future of VR.
Developed by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, the CableRobot Simulator can give you the thrills of extreme virtual experiences that you simply can’t get at home. This robotic simulator places you in a carbon cage that’s tied to eight multi-directional cables, essentially suspending you in mid-air. Once you put on a VR headset, the cage delivers motion based on the virtual world you’re into, with a maximum acceleration of 1.5g in every possible direction. This pod allows for flexible movement in varying directions, including banking and shifting. While this is still a prototype, it sees a huge application in large-scale arcades that offer gaming experiences in racing and flight simulation.
Birdly by SOMNIACS
Want to make your dream of flying come true? That’s possible with the Birdly robotic flight simulator. This simulator is developed by Swiss engineers at SOMNIACS with the main goal of creating an immersive first-person flying experience in virtual reality. Paired with a high-end VR headset like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, Birdly allows you to soar the skies with no limitations – there are no buttons to press, no joysticks to move, or computers to control or manipulate. All it takes is to lie down on the simulator itself and flap your hands like a bird’s wing. Sensory information such as sonic and wind feedback is made possible through built-in motor couplings that react to your motions in the virtual environment you’re in.
If you fancy a pod that houses you for a ride, the Krush Moveo is the one to watch out for. This spaceship-inspired VR simulation pod made waves at CES last year, and is developed for unifying physical experiences with virtual ones. It’s a free-rotating simulation platform that works with the Oculus Rift, which pulls you in rotational movements aligned with what you see on the VR headset. To help with navigation, Moveo is equipped with a joystick that you can direct to control your virtual experience. This robotic simulator is still in conceptual stages, and can take a few years to make its debut on the mainstream VR arena. According to Krush, its spaceship-inspired design will mainly cater to flight simulations.
MPI CyberMotion Simulator
The University of Montpellier in France has developed a robotic simulator that’s heavily inspired by the CableRobot Simulator from the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biological Cybernetics. Called the CyberMotion Simulator, it features eight degrees of freedom to permit three-dimensional motion coordination experiments. When paired with a supported high-end VR headset, this robotic simulator can help various experiments ranging from perceptual research to in-flight simulations. Its hexapod motion system offers several advantages including greater space for different motion configurations, upside-down orientations, and sustained acceleration.
This article will be updated for new VR robotic simulator experiences as soon as new ones come in, so stay tuned.