Innovate UK funds Glasgow University and eCom Scotland joint project

By: Bob Little PR
 
DUNFERMLINE, Scotland - July 14, 2021 - PRLog -- The digital learning and assessment specialist, eCom Scotland is collaborating with the University of Glasgow in a six-month project, funded by Innovate UK.

Running until October 2021, the project – called Super-immersive remote working via virtual reality controlled robotics ('Superior') – explores extending the capability of eCom's virtual reality (VR) authoring tool, eNetReality, to enable users to control a physical, robotic arm from within a VR environment. This ground-breaking project has already attracted interest from a number of universities from around the world, including those in the USA, China and the Middle East.

The solution will provide remote access to specialised equipment, thus expanding the use and availability of robotics to a wider catchment. It will also facilitate creating robot training programmes, producing prototypes, undertaking experiments, carrying out repairs and evaluating problems, while reducing the need for travel - and making all this available '24/7'.

"Notably, the project aims to enable learners to build electronic circuits within a virtual world which, in the real world, will operate a robotic arm – supplied by the University of Glasgow," said Wendy Edie, Managing Director at eCom (https://www.ecomscotland.com/contact/). "The project will provide support for Haptics and the 'realspace' control of robots.

"The impact of Covid19 has driven the need for this development, with the academic sector having the greatest need at present," Wendy continued, "although, with the growth in robotic automation in industry, we'd expect to see a strong growth in demand from the commercial sector for this type of training.

"The project aims to develop a prototype process using eCom's VR authoring platform, eNetReality, and Glasgow University's robot arm lab to deliver and share human skills, which aim at 'general-purpose' remote working. This process should allow people including teachers, students and engineers to carry out real-world physical tasks remotely via a robot, controlling the robotic actions using a haptic from within the immersive VR environment," she said.

"We are very happy to work with the leading VR company, eCom, on this Innovate UK project to exploit the potentials of VR, robotics, and communications in future remote working," said Dr Guodong Zhao, Principal Investigator at the University of Glasgow. "Providing the immense experience to users is crucial for the wide adoption of the robotics.  We would be very excited to see the impact of our research on the commercial products."

"We expect the market for our remote solution to be around one per cent of the global educational robot market, which was valued at US$778.6m in 2018 and is projected to reach US$1,689.2m by 2023, at a CAGR of 16.8% between 2018 and 2023. This approximates to US$16.8m a year," revealed Wendy Edie.

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Tags:Virtual Reality
Industry:Technology
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