About the lab
The Virtual Reality (VR) Lab is a unique facility in which you can walk through virtual reality representations of products that are yet to be realised using virtual reality technologies. The lab enables students and staff to visualise designs, develop immersive VR environments, and to test new VR and AR technologies.
The lab features three-dimensional (3D) projections on the walls and floor, as well as sensory feedback, so participants can manipulate objects like medical tools. They're able to feel the weight of an object, as well as the resistance of push back and pull creating a new level in the height of realism in a virtual environment.
The VR Lab is home to an interdisciplinary team with the diverse skill set required to work effectively in VR and AR.The team consists of experts in computer-aided design, 3D modelling, programming, IT, computer science and mechatronics.
Equipment and technology
The facility is one of the first to offer reconfigurable large-scale VR interfaces that can be interacted with by individuals and large groups of people. It offers ambisonic 3D surround sound and full acoustic isolation across the lab and a large-scale six degrees of freedom haptic device for force-based VR interaction. The computing architecture of the lab supports deployment across the full range of VR and AR hardware – anything from large in-situ systems to wearable headsets and mobile devices.
The lab includes:
- reconfigurable CAVE/CAD wall enabling individuals/groups of users to experience VR
- ambisonic sound system providing 3D sounds for users in the CAVE or using the CAD wall
- computing cluster with NVIDIA GPUs for processing and displaying virtual environments.
Explore our facility
Teaching and research
The Virtual Reality Lab hosts a range of activity across all study levels.
Students undertaking their final-year projects use the lab for designing and testing their virtual reality solutions. Those studying the Virtual and Augmented reality unit use the laboratory to design and prototype their solutions, and students taking part in School of Engineering outreach activities including visualising their designs and capturing environmental information through 360 degree photos and videos.
PhD students from across the University use the lab to conduct their research using virtual and immersive environments. The VR lab facilitates research across a number of areas:
- human-computer interaction (HCI) – virtual reality, haptics, new techniques and technologies
- deployable virtual reality
- virtual and augmented reality medical simulation and training
Our partners become valued members of the wider Deakin engineering family, not just our school. Opportunities to partner with us include work-integrated learning and industry-based learning and placements, student projects, and commercial research projects and services.
We hold strategic relationships with many of the world’s largest players in VR and AR, spanning industry, academia and research organisations. This enables us to leverage our expertise, resources and equipment to be able to scale, be responsive and deliver projects to the highest standard.
For me, the most exciting thing about working in virtual and augmented reality is seeing the potential of the technologies that are providing us with new capabilities. The opportunities are endless.
Associate Professor Ben Horan
Director of the VR Lab