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Tutorial: getting started with VR

This tutorial explains which VR devices are used within MirrorLabs and how to develop for these devices.

Introduction to VR

Virtual reality belongs to the realm of extended reality (XR). On the scale from 'real world', to a 'fully virtual environment' (VE), VR is an utmost where the ‘world’ is completely virtual.

VR is a broad term that can be used from different perspectives (see figure below):

  • VR as an environment: an alternate world filled with computer-generated images.

  • VR as a form of interaction: a unique interaction space where users can perceive a different reality.

  • VR as immersion: users feel like they are somewhere else.

Different aspects or technologies can be used to achieve these aspects of VR (see the right side of the figure below).

An overview of some important terms to know:

XR: Extended Reality

VR: Virtual Reality

MR: Mixed Reality

AR: Augmented Reality

VE: Virtual Environment

HMD: Head Mounted Display

OST: Optical See-Through

Types of XR hardware

There are different types in which an XR experience can be created. We mention XR here because some of the devices are able to create VR as well as AR experiences. In MirrorLabe we mainly focus on the use of HMD's, but there are more ways to create an XR application:

  • Head-mounted displays (HMD)

  • mobile or handheld AR/ VR

  • AR projection on a transparent screen

  • projection dome or room

Why are we using XR?

For human-robot collaboration, XR can be a powerful tool. Robots cannot communicate as people do. XR can improve communication between robots and human operators. A few examples are:

  • presenting information in the 3D space

  • showing the predicted movement of a cobot in AR

  • controlling the movement in XR without toughing the robot

  • digital twins for remote expert assistance


List of XR devices that are used in MirrorLabs:

  • HTC Vive (VR, when using pro version also AR using video)

  • Oculus Rift (VR)

  • Oculus Quest (VR/ AR using video)

  • Microsoft Hololens v1 and v2 (AR OST)

List of tutorials

HTC Vive

Oculus rift

Oculus Quest

The Microsoft HoloLens will be addressed in a later post about AR.



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