VSimulators joins UKCRIC facilities

VSimulators joins UKCRIC facilities
17 November 2020

UKCRIC are pleased to announce that VSimulators are joining UKCRIC to become a UKCRIC-affiliated facility. The collaboration agreement allows members of UKCRIC to benefit from using the VSimulators facilities for multi-disciplinary research on human factors engineering, and vice versa.  

VSimulators is a £4.8Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) government-funded national research facility developed between the Universities of Exeter, Bath and Leicester. With facilities at both Exeter and Bath, VSimulators focuses on multi-disciplinary research into factors affecting human comfort, health and wellbeing. They are supported by a wide community of researchers and industry leaders from structural engineering, physiotherapy, psychology, architecture, biomechanics, immersive reality, vibration engineering and human movement science.  

UKCRIC is an integrated research capability with a mission to underpin the renewal, sustainment and improvement of infrastructure and cities in the UK and elsewhere. It was funded £138m by EPSRC, with £138m matched funding from UK universities and industry. This collaboration with VSimulators will enable further collaboration across multiple research sectors and open opportunities for existing UKCRIC members to access even more world-leading research facilities. 

VSimulators at the University of Exeter is a new ‘super force plate’ facility which is unique within the UK (and potentially the world). An 8m x 8m chamber containa custom designed 3.7m x 3.7m Octopod motion platform delivering movement in six directions. This is topped with nine custom made AMTI force plates, to deliver a fully instrumented floor capable of comprehensive data capture and analysis. Up to nine users can be simultaneously immersed into a virtual environment through VivePro headsets. Motion capture enables the collection and compilation of data on the position of users, movement measured by accelerometers and user reactions, which can be synchronised frame by frame. 

VSimulators at University of Bath combines the use of projected virtual reality, an environmentally controlled chamber (humidity, heatair quality, light) and a motion platform, to measure human factor responses from the built environment on people’s health, wellbeing and productivity. The facility can recreate the impression of being inside an environment such as an office or apartment, with the external view rendered according to the occupant's position in the room, with external noise and light varied to reflect the time of day. 

William Powrie, Convenor of UKCRIC, said:  

We’re delighted to welcome VSimulators on board. Their wealth of experience will further strengthen UKCRIC’s offering and UKCRIC’s members will no doubt benefit from their facilities and expertise. 

Julie Lewis-Thompson, Commercial Manager for VSimulators added:  

The VSimulators academic communities are thrilled at the opportunity to collaborate with members of UKCRIC to help support improvements to cities and infrastructure. 

James Brownjohn, Exeter PI, said: 

“I’m very pleased that VSimulators has joined UKCRIC. I very much look forward to sharing experiences and opportunities, engaging with all the great researchers and amazing UKCRIC facilities coming on stream.” 

Antony Darby, Bath PI, further added: “This represents a really exciting new chapter for the VSimulator facility, bringing a wealth of opportunities to collaborate with researchers across the UK as part of UKCRIC.” 

Image credit: NESA by Makers via Unsplash