Augmented Reality Props for Interactive Simulation of Equipment

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Full scale mockups of in-space or surface habitats takes a lot of floor space and it is not portable. Virtual Reality (VR) model can present a visualization of the interior but interaction with the environment requires VR gloves or controllers. With Augmented Reality (AR), a plain physical prop or mockup can provide an interactive experience. A box represent a cabinet, a piece of foam-core can represent a diagnostic system, and a simple articulated model can have animated features based upon the current configuration.


Through VR and AR technology, we can experience future in-space or planetary surface habitats. Physical props and mockups with coordinated AR simulation reduces the cost of prototyping hardware and electronic systems. This challenge involves the creation of a physical prop and developing interactive AR software to simulate equipment or interesting architectural features. Props could include hinges, latches, knobs, switches, screens, compartments, plug-in probes, handles, or other interactive features. Ideas for AR simulations could involve equipment for diagnostics, communications, experiments, storage, or articulated interior or architectural models of habitats, spacecraft, or surface systems.


The Sample Resources provide links to articles about AR based product design prototyping. When developing an AR prop, consider that it could be a small scale version of something large. Design the software and prop(s) to use a standardized approach for the ques that trigger events in the simulation. The AR software ought to be well commented and documented so that it can be adapted for reuse in other applications. Documentation for the prop and associated AR software should include a use-case scenario and explain how demonstration can facilitate discussions about the improvement of the product design.

Sample Resources

Mars Immersion: NASA Concepts Bring Precision to New Virtual Reality Experience bring-precision- mars-to- virtual-reality

How NASA is using Virtual and Augmented Reality to Train Astronauts is-using- virtual-and- augmented-reality- to-train- astronauts-37/

Possibility of applying Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality to the Human Centered Design and Prototyping for Information Appliances

Case-Based Exploration of the Augmented Prototyping Dialog to Support Design

A Survey of Augmented Reality

Interactive Foam: Touchable and Graspable Augmented Reality for Product Design Simulation

Toni Eberhart