You can play video games with PlayStation VR, but how about using it to train space robots? It is possible now as NASA has taken steps to train robots with it. With products like Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive, and Sony virtual reality headsets, virtual reality is slowly becoming mainstream. These gadgets have more uses than just watching movies and playing games.
For training robots, NASA and Sony have been working together on a project called Mighty Morphenaut which is a PlayStation VR demo. It lets operators exercise control over a humanoid in space. To get the humanoid to perform a certain task or safely navigate obstacles, the VR experience essentially recreates the robot’s environment allowing the operator to manipulate it.
It has been a long time NASA is working on the Morphenaut project which creates dexterous humanoids that can aid and eventually replace humans in space. The ultimate goal is to control the repetitive and dangerous tasks that humans on the International Space Station currently have to perform themselves.
The PlayStation VR is used to let the operator look around and make decisions by taking into account the robot’s environment. The robot will then respond accordingly given the distances involved with beaming signals from an operator on Earth to a robot in space. This will enable the operator to ascertain the lapses in movement due to lag.
Virtual reality technology can be used for a wide variety of purposes. It may take a lot of time for NASA to be completely sure that VR is the way to go to effectively control humanoids in space. Soon VR headsets may replace many other electronic devices in our daily life – you never know.