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Virtual & Augmented Reality

VR helps robots defuse bombs

Robots defusing bombs is the standard practice in many locations nowadays. Researchers have now found a way to control them more precisely using a virtual reality environment.

28 Sep. 2017
Source: SRI International
(Photo: SRI International )

According to Wired magazine, scientists from the Stanford Research Institute International have developed a robotic model called Taurus using virtual reality (VR) specifically for the removal of bombs. Up to now, the control system has been done using a 3D monitor and controller, which convert the commands into arm movements.

The researchers, on the other hand, now wore a VR headset in their tests and used Oculus touch controllers as so-called manipulators. They could actually feel their own applied force as well as resistance thanks to the connectible and tactile feedback.

The advantages are clear: Not only when it comes to diffusing bombs, but also wherever it is too dangerous or ill-suited for humans, robots could do the required work more precisely than people in the future. Thanks to virtual reality, the person who controls the robot feels close to the action, although physically they are far away. That's what can be the decisive factor for success.

VR technology also shows huge potential in space travel. For example, NASA uses it to simulate life on Mars. The goal is to send people to the red planet after the year 2030.