Virtual reality lab for students worth �3.9m to be built

A new virtual reality laboratory for students equipped with 3D environments will be built at a UK university, it has been announced.

The project, known as Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE), will allow students from Aston University to have a full-scale experience when examining topics such as the physical world, the body, prototype design, mathematical constructions, data visualisation or computer programming.

“We are very excited about the possibilities and potential of our new CAVE virtual reality room, which is just the second to be built at a UK university,” said Professor Helen Griffiths, leading the 3D-Lab initiative.

“Not only will the technology enhance our students’ critical thinking but it will improve their competency and experience in the uses and applications of advanced 3D visualisation.”

The 3D environments will be projected onto the bare walls of a darkened room, which will act as a screen. Another nearby lab, ‘Z-space’, will be equipped with holographic displays to showcase students’ 3D images and objects – be it animal dissection or a detailed search for design flaws in a project.  

The 3D-Lab, which will be mostly used by Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) students, will open in 2017.

The £3.9m project is part-funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

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