Scaling virtual reality up from smaller scenarios is a major goal for video game developers. Researchers are also looking to expand virtual reality beyond the size of a living room for a different reason entirely: disaster response.
In a lecture hosted by Microsoft, professor Katashi Nagao from the Graduate School of Informatics at Japan’s Nagoya University explains how his team is reconstructing entire buildings in a VR sphere, to help occupants learn how to act in disaster scenarios such as earthquakes or flooding.
To recreate an entire interiors in VR, Microsoft unleashed a robot equipped with laser-range sensors, RGB depth camera and a 4K panoramic image camera, into a building. As the robot moves around physical objects, it automatically scans them. Then, in the simulation, the building and those objects can be manipulated to create dangerous scenarios, which VR users can experience safely.
Microsoft plans to expand on this project, to work on an even larger scale with public buildings like museums.
Check out Microsoft Research’s blog post by CLICKING HERE.