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Robot will beam live Moon pictures to Oculus users

BBC News Robot will beam live Moon pictures to Oculus users


"The vision was simple - let anyone on Earth experience the Moon live through the eyes of a robot," explained team leader Daniel Shafrir.

"We weren't just going to go to the Moon. We are going to bring the Moon back," he added.

The telepresence robot, nicknamed Andy after university founder Andrew Carnegie, can be controlled by an operator's head.

Using an Oculus Rift headset, the movements of the user's head are tracked and sent back to Andy's camera so that it will match where the user is looking.

"Imagine the feeling of looking out and seeing rocks and craters billions of years old. Turn your head to the right and you see the dark expanse of space. Turn your head to the left and you see home, Earth," said Mr Shafrir.

To achieve this required complex coding. The team also encountered smaller problems such as the fact that the Oculus software was unable to receive two live video streams at the same time.

"Tackling challenges like that made the project a non-stop, day and night hackathon," explained Mr Shafrir.

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The lag must be incredibly long doing it this way.

Yes, very high latency. Still, it's freaking sweet! To the moon and back...

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