VR-Lab: More than reality

Contact: Gernot Hofer, CAMPUS 02 University of Applied Sciences

We all have a general understanding about virtual reality: a digitally visualized world in which the user can act. However, what happens, if actions in the virtual world can control the physical world? A research project at CAMPUS 02 is dealing with this question.

The EAS-Lab (“Energy Analytics & Solution Lab”) has been established at the end of 2019 and represents an innovative energy technology laboratory. In this laboratory also virtual reality experiments are performed by using VR glasses. With their help you can move around within the laboratory, even if you are not physically present. You move through the virtual laboratory rooms, operate the technical infrastructure with the help of a controller and learn exciting information about  current energy flows, whilst hardly moving.

Virtual reality is not necessarily new: Many computer games and programs make use of the technical possibility of creating a parallel existence. As a matter of fact, the action should not remain parallel within the EAS-Lab: Rather, it acts directly on the laboratory and vice versa.

The laboratory hardware was combined with computer-aided simulations. This opens up new possibilities in the visualization, control and use of the laboratory. In the future, also other real laboratory components will be simulated and integrated into the VR environment. In the end, the project which initiated based on an internship and a master’s thesis, is far more than an example of virtual reality: Rather it has succeeded in realizing a mixed reality.

For more information, please contact Gernot Hofer, full-time lecturer at the Degree Programmes Automation Technology at CAMPUS 02, University of Applied Sciences