Virtual reality, or artificial reality, is an artificial environment created with the help of sensations produced by computer simulation. The abbreviation VR is often used for virtual reality, which comes from the English words virtual reality. Virtual reality can aim to simulate a real or imaginary environment.
Virtual reality is one area of extended reality (XR). Done right, it’s almost like a new sense for humans. Virtual reality aims to develop understanding, communication, and safety between technology and people.
– I have always been fascinated by developing the breadth and depth of human understanding. Augmented reality is the perfect solution for that, says Probot Oy’s software developer Olli-Pekka Nikka.
The benefits of a new dimension
With the help of virtual reality, complex systems can be tested and designed in a simulated environment that corresponds to the final implementation from the real world. In this way, resources are saved, and the various phases of the work are safer for all parties involved. The challenges of the projects are noticed on time before irreversible concrete changes have been made. In projects, all parties get a clear picture of the progress and the scope of the final implementation. So the benefits are considerable.
– Both parties get a much clearer picture of the project when they can step into virtual reality and look at the final implementation with their own eyes, Olli-Pekka sums up.
In working life, opportunities also open up for education. VR allows unlimited customization of the learning environment to suit the needs of the employee. The organization can save training costs with the help of virtual facilities.
Augmented reality also gives people the opportunity to leave the constraints of reality. A bedridden patient can attend a music concert or other event and feel the audience’s presence with the help of virtual reality. An employee can remotely control the customer service robot located on the other side of the world in the hotel lobby. Virtual reality can also be used in the treatment and rehabilitation of mental and physical illnesses, such as the rehabilitation of paralyzed patients, pain management and treatment of phobias.
“Above all, the significance of virtual reality can be seen in its potential to help people and companies in many ways. Even the impossible can really be made possible.”– Olli-Pekka Nikka
Controlling robots in virtual reality
Probot Oy is running the EU project MIMIC, which studies the control and visualization of robots through virtual reality. The control is assisted by a haptic glov – a glove based on the sense of touch. It can be used to feel virtual objects in the hand with the help of haptic feedback. The goal of the year-long project is to use and control a mobile robot with the help of virtual reality and a glove. A robotic arm equipped with touch sensors is attached to the mobile robot. The project is implemented in cooperation with MAGOS from Greek. MAGOS is an innovative team that aims to become a significant factor in the virtual reality market of the future with its own haptic glove.
The freshness of the field brings challenges
The most challenging thing about working with augmented reality is the freshness of the field. Augmented reality is still such a new field that it is not standardized. For this reason, the development tools and ways to develop working systems have not yet been properly built. Some of the tools used in development have to be created yourself, which is why many challenges are encountered in the development process. Despite the challenges, the result of the work is rewarding and new things are constantly learned.
– The absolute best thing is to be able to develop this new area of technology forward, to create and research new standards. I like working at the forefront of technological development. I’ve always been a visionary, so projects like this fascinate me a lot. It’s great to be part of a project that develops an understanding of where the world is going, Olli-Pekka states.
Whether it’s controlling a robot or treating various diseases, virtual reality offers valuable opportunities and new ways of working that are worth taking up.
Probot Oy – Specialist in Robotics.