Virtual reality (VR) might seem like a pretty obvious candidate when it comes to entertainment, but recently we have been discovering that VR can also be used for educational purposes. For example companies like Walmart are using VR to train employees, while Google has conducted some studies to see if training in VR could be more beneficial.
That being said, it seems that researchers over at MIT CSAIL have developed a system in which they are exploring possibly using VR to control robots via a virtual cockpit. Not only that, but they are using off-the-shelf devices and technology, such as the Oculus Rift and Unity to accomplish that, which ultimately means that not only does it increase accessibility, but it also helps reduce costs.
So basically what MIT CSAIL has done is that in VR, they have created a virtual cockpit complete with a bunch of knobs that correlates to each of the robot’s arms. From there the user will manipulate these knobs virtually which in turn will make the robot’s arms move in real life. This means that instead of looking at the robot, it will place users into the robot’s shoes (so to speak), which should help give users a better idea and a greater degree of control over the robot’s actions.
The researchers created this particular setup with manufacturing in mind, where in the event a robot on the assembly line should run into difficulty, a user can step in and take over.
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