April 3rd, 2017

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in Engineering : Landscape of Imagination

“Virtual reality is the first step to a grand adventure into the landscape of imagination”. As they say our thoughts create our reality, VR makes it possible to convert our thoughts digitally and execute them virtually.

When the famous, Tony Stark (a.k.a) Iron man suits up to take on to the world, we are all blown away by his powerful armour. How does he check each and every function of the suit virtually? It’s all Augmented reality! From its superhuman strength, his ability to fly, and functioning of weapons as he can feel and see each and everything in a 3D environment. Not forgetting Jarvis, a highly advanced computerised artificial intelligence, who handles all the tricky calculations for Iron Man. All of this is nothing but the use of Augmented reality to see the potential design flaws and eliminate the errors.

Talking about the vast scopes of human imagination, Virtual reality and Augmented reality can cater a vast scope in the application to engineering in such following ways:

• Enabling engineers to view their project in 3D and gain a greater understanding of how it works.

• Using visualisations and 3-D modelling tools for creating the desired design.

• Not only allowing the design team to make necessary changes in their project but saving both
their time and money too.

• Predicted visuals of statistics and analytics for engineering projects.

• Used in Automobile and Aerospace operations.

So, a shift from digital design to virtual reality is set to change to the way design engineers work. As there are various streams in engineering. VR can be applied in each of them resulting in advantageous outputs.

Applications of (VR) in Automobile engineering: 

• Ability to design and simulate required systems using Virtual reality.
• Identify modern-vehicles working processes and providing constructive solutions.

The use of VR is becoming more common in the automotive sector, with several companies particularly at the high end as they are using the technology to give the customers a taste of vehicle layout digitally. Another industry, where VR can be implemented is the Aerospace Industry.

Applications of (VR) in Aerospace engineering:

• Helps design teams and scientists share an intuitive understanding of data.

• Reduces time to discovery and helps in maintaining accuracy.

• Reduces risk and costs for research and prototyping.

• Increases data interactivity.

VR gives engineers a much more intuitive view of simulation and hence, is being used by Aerospace engineers for their research.

VR in Entertainment – Case Study

Tron, a movie which gave an impression of how VR could look in the early days, is also the birthplace of the famous Light Cycle. So, an Oculus Rift developer had created a demo to put users on the awesome futuristic bike.

This Tron Legacy light cycle replica not only looks like a prop from the blockbuster, but, incorporating the Virtual reality headset, pretty much feels like you are driving the vehicle in the movie.

Not long ago, virtual reality was the idea of science fiction – but now, with its innumerable applications in various fields, it has become a means for engineers learning, inventing and growing in their craft. It’s the technology that speaks for itself, but as a gateway path for revolutionary ideas VR has effectively made a mark and will change the way we do things in the future. Although it’s impossible to tell when exactly virtual reality will become the routine by everyone, it’s only a matter of time before it does. When the virtual world has so much to offer, we can expect a revolution in the real world of engineering as our landscape of imagination has no boundaries.

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