- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Virtual Reality (VR), 2017 IEEE
- Page Range or eLocation-ID:
- 271 to 272
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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The objective of this research is to compare the effectiveness of various virtual reality tracking systems underwater. There have been few works in aquatic virtual reality (VR) - i.e., VR systems that can be used in a real underwater environment. Moreover, the works that have been done have noted limitations on tracking accuracy. Our initial test results suggest that inertial measurement units work well underwater for orientation tracking but a different approach is needed for position tracking. Towards this goal, we have waterproofed and evaluated several consumer tracking systems intended for gaming to determine the most effective approaches. First, we informally tested infrared systems and fiducial marker based systems, which demonstrated significant limitations of optical approaches. Next, we quantitatively compared inertial measurement units (IMU) and a magnetic tracking system both above water (as a baseline) and underwater. By comparing the devices' rotation data, we have discovered that the magnetic tracking system implemented by the Razer Hydra is approximately as accurate underwater as compared to a phone-based IMU. This suggests that magnetic tracking systems should be further explored as a possibility for underwater VR applications.
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Underwater robots, including Remote Operating Vehicles (ROV) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV), are currently used to support underwater missions that are either impossible or too risky to be performed by manned systems. In recent years the academia and robotic industry have paved paths for tackling technical challenges for ROV/AUV operations. The level of intelligence of ROV/AUV has increased dramatically because of the recent advances in low-power-consumption embedded computing devices and machine intelligence (e.g., AI). Nonetheless, operating precisely underwater is still extremely challenging to minimize human intervention due to the inherent challenges and uncertainties associated with the underwater environments. Proximity operations, especially those requiring precise manipulation, are still carried out by ROV systems that are fully controlled by a human pilot. A workplace-ready and worker-friendly ROV interface that properly simplifies operator control and increases remote operation confidence is the central challenge for the wide adaptation of ROVs.
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