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Oculus Rift Robot Displaces Reality

The Intuitive Rift Explorer combines virtual reality and robotics. (Photo credit: Jonas Lauener.)
The Intuitive Rift Explorer combines virtual reality and robotics. (Photo credit: Jonas Lauener.)

Jonas Lauener’s Intuitive Rift Explorer combines a robot and a head-mounted display, to create a mobile virtual reality system that’s worth a nod. The camera mount on the robot is wirelessly connected to an Oculus Rift display, so that when the person wearing the Rift tilts their head, the camera mount tilts, too.

The vision system uses two wide-angle cameras and a 3-axis gimbal mounted on a wheeled robot. Lauener’s software intentionally distorts the wide-angle camera images, to suit the Rift display.

To reduce the likelihood of motion sickness, Lauener designed the system to have low latency by using u-blox Bluetooth modules for communication between the Rift and robot.All the servos on the robot base and gimbal are controlled with a Pololu Mini Maestro 12-Channel board and a Logitech remote is used as an emergency stop, in case the wheeled robot ventures too close to stairs or other dangerous territory.

IRE – Intuitive Rift Explorer from i4Ds on Vimeo.

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