Researchers use robotic mobile furniture to make the VR experience more real.

To give VR players a more authentic interactive experience, a research team led by Ryo Suzuki has come up with a RoomShift solution that allows interior furniture to interact with players in depth. In the demo video, it can be seen using the Oculus Go virtual reality headset and tracking system, as well as the drive scheme based on the reprogrammed Roomba sweep robot and shear lift bracket.

Researchers use robotic mobile furniture to make the VR experience more real.

(From: Ryo Suzuki)

The technology, called RoomShift, works with most VR devices and uses a 10-by-10-meter (32.8-by-32.8-inch) site size.

Researchers use robotic mobile furniture to make the VR experience more real.

But what attracted us the most was its modified Roomba sweep robot cluster. They have a shear lift mounted on top to lift specific furniture to a new position and lower it.

RoomShift Room-scale Dynamics Haptics for VR (via)

For VR players, this simple idea allows them to interact more richly and securely in the virtual reality world to avoid frequent pop-up distance warnings, such as hitting walls or near doors and windows, affecting the overall experience.

Researchers use robotic mobile furniture to make the VR experience more real.

More interestingly, the VR system can also move smaller furniture to the user to simulate larger furniture set in a virtual reality environment (such as a large conference room table in the example).

Researchers use robotic mobile furniture to make the VR experience more real.

As for the hard-working Roomba robot body, the team also took into account the avoidance of collisions with each other at the beginning of programming.

The current version of the robot can lift 11.2 kg (24.7 lb) of objects, but in the future several robots could be considered to work together to move larger, heavier interior items.

Researchers use robotic mobile furniture to make the VR experience more real.

Details of this study were presented in this year’s CHI 2020 International Conference on Human Interaction.

Originally published as RoomShift: Room-scale Dynamics for VR with Furniture-moving Swarm Robots.