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James Bruton focus series #3: Virtual Reality combat with a real robot

December 26, 2020

James Bruton and the students

It’s Saturday, it’s the turn of another post of the James Bruton focus series, and it’s Boxing Day in the UK and most of the Commonwealth countries. Even if this holiday has nothing to do with boxing, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to take it literally and bring you a project in which James teamed up with final year degree students in Computer Games Technology at Portsmouth University to build a robot that fights a human in a Virtual Reality (VR) game.

For this project, the students Michael (Coding & VR Hardware), Stephen (Character Design & Animation), George (Environment Art) and Boyan (Character Design & Animation) designed a VR combat game in which you fight another character. James’ addition was to design a real robot that fights the player, so that when they get hit in the game, they also get hit in real life by the robot. The robot and the player’s costume are tracked using Vive trackers so the VR system knows where to position each of them in the 3D virtual environment. You can see some artwork and more details about the project here and here. Without further ado, here’s James’ video:

Happy holidays!

Daniel Carrillo-Zapata
Managing Editor
Daniel Carrillo-Zapata was awared his PhD in swarm robotics at the Bristol Robotics Lab in 2020. He now fosters the culture of "scientific agitation" to engage in two-way conversations between researchers and society.

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