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Dr Peter Nickel
Alte Heerstr. 111
53757 Sankt Augustin
Phone: +49 2241 231-2832
Fax: +49 2241 231-2234
Virtual reality in human-machine interaction
What is virtual reality?
In VR (virtual reality), a person interacts with a simulated environment. The person perceives virtual objects within the simulation environment through the senses with a high degree of realism. He/she can move objects, react to them, and treat them in their natural size as would be possible if they were real. Sometimes, the terms augmented or mixed reality are used for mixtures of virtual and objective reality.
Safety and Usability through Applications in Virtual Environments (SUTAVE) describes the use of virtual reality (VR) for problem solving and for innovative design in the area of occupational safety and health. The IFA has its own SUTAVE team and dedicated SUTAVE laboratories. Work processes can be studied in a simulated work system in the IFA's SUTAVE laboratory. As a dynamic model of reality that provides depth perception and sensation, this system encompasses work equipment, workplace, work environment and work task.
- Realistic: the person's interaction with the virtual work system has direct effects upon their processing of information.
- Interactive: the person acts with the virtual work system, processes information directly, and implements it without delay.
- Animated: parts of the work system move of their own accord, or can be moved.
- Perceived dynamically: the visual, acoustic and tactile perception change, leading in turn to changes in the projection of the virtual work system. This occurs according to where the person is standing, how they move, and how the simulated environment moves relative to them. Scientists from different disciplines work closely together in the SUTAVE laboratory in order to study realistic applications.
As a result, virtual reality is becoming increasingly important for:
- Analysis, design and evaluation of human-machine interfaces with regard to recommendations for safety and usability
- Effective and efficient technological support during the design of new products, production processes and safety concepts
VR is therefore able to support conditional prevention in occupational safety and health.