While the University of Exeter Engineering Research Centre completes key construction milestones, the VSimulators motion platform has been in the process of manufacturing and assembly in The Netherlands, ready for initial factory acceptance testing.
Constructed by E2M and Holovis, to exacting specifications, the lower frame was initially manufactured, followed by the upper frame, with carefully crafted V profiles. The way the platform has been designed and constructed makes it extremely rigid, providing a unique capability for simulating high frequency motion in all directions.
All components: base frame, motors, connecting rods and upper platform were then sent to the E2M facility, outside Amsterdam, for assembly and initial testing. The lower frame is a single structure measuring 4.38 m x 4.38 m and required a purpose built and designed framework to enable it to be safely moved without compromising the integrity of the structure. The individual components were then assembled into the full VSimulators motion platform and the platform switched on for the first time.
On 29th July 2019, with the system fully assembled, E2M began a timetable of rigorous testing to ensure it complies within the operational parameters. It has taken four years since the Bath and Exeter teams started working on the research proposal. After two years of close cooperation with Holovis and E2M, it is brilliant to see the University of Exeter VSimulators machine finally come together and show us its first moves.
The next exciting stage will be attending factory acceptance testing in Amsterdam, subsequently taking delivery of the equipment and installing it into the University of Exeter Engineering Research Centre at Exeter Science Park. VSimulators at University of Exeter will then be open for research collaborations and commercial use.
VSimulators at University of Exeter will offer a state-of-the-art, world class facility, providing virtual reality (VR) technology capable of immersing up to nine occupants simultaneously in headset projected VR scenarios. A 4x4 metre, custom designed and worldwide unique motion platform, linked to the VR scenarios, will enable users to perceive realistic motion as they move around in a virtual world, while optical and inertial motion capture systems and an array of force plates will record their experiences.