Exploring the Perseverance Rover
With the recent launch of the Perseverance rover, an interactive
experience with this new technology would be informative. Taking a similar approach as with
the ISS demo, I created an environment representing the surface of Mars using Unity’s
Next steps in this project involved the interactivity itself: what would
users do in this environment? I looked to other successful VR experiences and decided to
start the scene with the user facing an interactive menu explaining what Perseverance is,
rover history, information on Mars, etc. The menu allows users to select any of these tabs
in the menu, which will show them the relevant information.
They can then teleport around
the scene and view the rover from various angles. I also wanted to implement interactivity
with individual pieces of the rover model. That is, a user can grab various pieces of the
rover, which would make their names and descriptions appear beside them. The user could then
let go of the piece to have it “snap back” to its correct position on the rover, providing a
hands-on educational experience.
We created a mocap suit with radio-dense beads that could be
XROMM tracking software. We then set
up 3 GoPro cameras to capture the motion from three
different viewpoints. The idea was to capture the motion data from various kicks, track
them, export the 3D transformations, and import them as animations in Unity.