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VSimulators - Bath

VSimulators at University of Bath provides a bespoke environmental chamber combined with projected virtual reality for two research volunteers

Opening 9th October 2019

Bath VSimulators offers a state of the art environmental chamber with projected virtual reality for multi-disciplinary research

Whether your research involves working in a high rise office building, exploring your newly designed building, understanding human responses to changing environmental conditions or exploring the human physiological responses to the built environment, we can provide the multi-disciplinary capability to fully explore human-environment interactions.

VSimulators at Bath - Key Features:

  • 3m x 4m self contained environment test chamber (supplied by Temperature Applied Sciences) which can be occupied by up to two occupants for extensive periods of time
  • a custom designed motion platform, with freedom of movement in three directions (designed and developed by Servotest Systems, in collaboration with University of Bath)
  • projected virtual reality (images are projected onto the walls), programmed to adjust the visual and audio sensory output according to the time of day and building height (designed and developed by Antycip Simulation, in collaboration with University of Bath)
  • motion tracking of occupants
  • physiological recording of human factor responses

Environmental Control Features:

The VSimulator facility at University of Bath offers precise environmental controls, as follows

  • Air Temperature : 15 to 40 degrees centigrade
  • Radiant Temperature : 15 to 40 degrees centigrade
  • Humidity : 20% to 80%
  • Air Flow : 0.05 to 1.5 m/s
  • Fresh Air : 1 to 10 l/s/p
  • Input of simulated sound : 0 to 100 Lp dB
  • Ability to adjust reverberation time : 0.2 to 1 seconds
  • Horizontal Illuminance : 50 to 2000 lux
  • Colour Temperature : 2000 to 6500 K

VSimulators at University of Bath will uniquely enable the accurate re-creation of large amplitude, low frequency wind induced tall to super-tall building sway, with a reconfigurable room layout, such as an office, hotel room, apartment or hospital ward. This facility will link structural movement and environmental conditions, with human psychological and physiological responses, in a fully controllable environment.

The immersive projected virtual reality spaces will provide an environment in which to recreate the impact of subtle motion to enable a better understanding as to how this could affect the well being of people, their work performance or behaviour. This multi-disciplinary facility will enable research on human comfort, motion acceptability, biophilic design and habituation.

Click here for information on VSimulators at University of Exeter

Antony Darby, the PI for VSimulators at University of Bath explains how this facility will support unique research opportunities

Dr Ian Walker, Associate Dean for Research at University of Bath, discusses how the VSimulator facility can benefit research

Gillian Browning from BuroHappold, explain why her industry is keen to use the VSimulators facility.

University of Bath VSimulators platform will support opportunities for innovative research into human factor responses to the environment. These are just a few ideas for how this facility can be used.

VSimulators at University of Bath - projected virtual reality depicting a kitchen in a high rise apartment

VSimulators at University of Bath - projected virtual reality depicting an office scene in a high rise building

Design and Construction of the VSimulator Facility at University of Bath

VSimulators at University of Bath took 18 months of design from original idea to completed installation. Suppliers including Antycip Simulation (projected and virtual reality designers), ServoTest Systems (motion platform engineers) and TAS Limited (climate control engineers) combined their skills to create and install this unique facility. The images below show some of the key stages in the installation process, with more information being found on the news page.

Having redesigned an area in the Structures Laboratory at the Department for Architecture and Civil Engineering, the base plates and motion platform were careful manoeuvred into place, following extensive factory acceptance testing.

VSimulator at University of Bath - the base plates being aligned into position

VSimulators at University of Bath - the motion platform being installed by a Trilifter, the only vehicle of its type in the UK.

The images below show the climate control chamber being carefully aligned into position. Extensive testing then ensured the motion platform and the control chamber operated smoothly, before the installation of the project virtual reality technology.

First visitors to the VSimulator research platform at University of Bath.

An official launch will take place on 9th October 2019, after which the VSimulators platform at University of Bath will be open for commercial and academic use.