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NO.366 01.15.2018

Enjoy Drone Racing Via Virtual Reality

Global drone market is expected to grow to $ 82 billion by 2026


Drones have a variety of applications. The hobby drone market is enjoying a boom as well. Drone racing that offers fast paced excitement is also emerging. However, barriers to entry are high. In addition to the expensive price of the drone itself, there are many factors of risks and failures. Drones are not easy to fly. It takes a lot of time to get trained in controlling a drone.


How can these problems be solved? Professor Tack Woo at the Department of Digital Art and Design has found a clue to the solution in a virtual reality (VR) device, as his research team has developed VR drone racing simulator for the first time in Korea.


Professor Tack Woo’s research team develops Korea's first VR drone racing simulator
The VR drone racing simulator, which allows you to enjoy drone racing in virtual space, has a head-mounted display (HMD) fitted on the head and a flight controller. Professor Woo has participated in the research on "Development of Drone Racing Contents Technology using VR/AR" selected by the Cultural Technology Research and Development Project in 2017, and has been working on the collaborative research with Korea Polytechnic University.


The advantage of the VR drone racing simulator is that it is possible to gain sufficient flight training even before launching an actual drone in the field. You can also learn major racing techniques without the risk of damaging your expensive drone. It can also help you to learn diverse flying techniques required in different flight situations including how to pass through obstacles. It is even possible to get trainings for major stadium courses.


The next goal of the team is moving toward the real field. Augmented Reality (AR) drone racing content is next to be developed by applying the virtual content to the images taken by the drone, and then Mixed Reality (MR) content with VR and AR can be developed.


This is expected to popularize drone racing and expand user base. With the new VR, AR and MR-based simulation technology, we can expect to create a new e-sports market that surpasses conventional drone racing.


Developed VR contents using game mechanism, applied to psychological counseling
In addition to researching entertainment applications such as drone racing, Professor Woo is also studying therapeutic possibilities of the VR technology for single-person households. Meditation and psychological counseling contents using VR device are also under development. Users can be diagnosed via a VR device remotely instructed by a counselor and can experience counseling techniques utilized in actual counseling in the virtual reality.


The ultimate goal of Professor Woo is to apply game mechanisms that enable sustained immersion, to education, health care, and perception change, etc. Professor Woo emphasized that "since games enable immediate feedback, they are highly effective when applied to education."


He also added a description of the Department of Digital Art and Design. Professor Woo said, "There are four tracks of digital contents (animation, digital video, game, and multimedia contents) in my department, which is a huge advantage. It's not just games that they learn, but their curriculums also include classes on video, animation and media contents. Our students will be proficient in all areas of digital content creation.”

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