Jul 27

V-ERAS: A Virtual Environment for Planetary Exploration Crews Training

We are currently working on an immersive virtual reality simulation of the ERAS Station (V-ERAS). The major advantage of such virtualization is that it will be possible to undertake training sessions with a crew that can interact with its future environment before the actual station is built.

The development effort is currently divided in three main activities:

  • ERAS Station simulation using the Blender game engine and a virtual reality headset
  • Upper body and hands gestures tracking
  • Integration of an omnidirectional treadmill

The final goal will be the construction of a classroom in which four (or six, depending on the targeted crew size) VR stations will be installed and the definition of appropriate crew rotations in which different training sessions are performed.

Relevant part of the software development associated to V-ERAS will be undertaken by international students within the Google Summer of Code 2014 (GSoC) program were IMS participate as mentor organization.

The final goal will be the construction of a classroom in which four (or six, depending on the targeted crew size) VR stations will be installed and the definition of appropriate crew rotations in which different training sessions are performed. The availability of a single VR station prototype is targeted for September 2014 and multi-user integration, able to support four stations, should be ready for October/November 2014

While setting up the V-ERAS projects, we are having some fun with the powerful Blender animation capabilities. Here the video of a V-ERAS crewman avatar standing in our living room.

http://youtu.be/CzvFHPnxk6s
The astronaut model is curtsey of Keen Software House.

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