NASA Scientists Use Oculus Rift to Control Robot


Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of the people hundreds of years before the Enterprise. Their mission? To control robots in new and cool ways. Their solution? A random hodgepodging of some novel wearable tech concepts presented and used in new ways. Sit back, relax and let me tell you a story of a little space agency called NASA, a little computing company called Microsoft and some wicked virtual reality glasses called the Oculus Rift. Oh yeah. There are robots as well. What story isn’t made better with the addition of sweet robots?

The Human Interfaces division of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California has just published a study detailing how Microsoft’s Kinect sensor and the infamous Oculus Rift VR headset could come together to create a new and interesting way to control robots. In the video below you can see the novel tech combo being used to control a robot arm, which picks up a block with absolutely no difficulty at all.

“Using the new Xbox One Kinect sensor, we are able to manipulate the JACO robot arm in real time. By combining position tracking from the Kinect and rotational tracking with the Oculus, we provide a first-person view for the operator,” NASA said. You go guys!

As far as where this tech will lead? The sky, or the space rather, is the limit. “Future work will include integrating sensor array data into the scene and translating our research to the Robonaut 2 humanoid on the International Space Station.” NASA added.