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Open AccessArticle

A Low-Cost Immersive Virtual Reality System for Teaching Robotic Manipulators Programming

Computer Technology and Computation Department, University of Alicante, 03690 Alicante, Spain
Developmental and Educational Psychology Department, University of Alicante, 03690 Alicante, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1102;
Received: 30 January 2018 / Revised: 29 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 7 April 2018
Laboratory tasks are a powerful pedagogical strategy for developing competences in science and engineering degrees, making students understand in a practical way the theoretical topics explained in the classroom. However, performing experiments in real conditions is usually expensive in terms of time, money and energy, as it requires expensive infrastructures that are generally difficult to maintain in good conditions. To overcome this problem, virtual reality has proven to be a powerful tool to achieve sustainability, making it easy to update laboratories without the need to acquire new equipment. Moreover, the ability to introduce practical knowledge into classrooms without leaving them, makes virtual laboratories capable of simulating typical operating environments as well as extreme situations in the operation of different devices. A typical subject in which students can benefit from the use of virtual laboratories is robotics. In this work we will develop an immersive virtual reality (VR) pedagogical simulator of industrial robotic arms for engineering students. With the proposed system, students will know the effects of their own designed trajectories on several different robotic arms and cell environments without having to buy all of them and being safe of damaging the cell components. The simulation will be checking for collisions of the elements in the scene and alert the student when they happen. This can be achieved with a robotic simulator, but the integration with immersive VR is intended to help students better understand robotics. Moreover, even having a real robotic arm available for students, with this proposed VR method, all the students have the opportunity to manage and learn his own version of the robotic cell, without waiting times generated by having less robotic arms than students in classroom. View Full-Text
Keywords: robotics; simulation; Virtual-Reality; pedagogy; education robotics; simulation; Virtual-Reality; pedagogy; education
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Román-Ibáñez, V.; Pujol-López, F.A.; Mora-Mora, H.; Pertegal-Felices, M.L.; Jimeno-Morenilla, A. A Low-Cost Immersive Virtual Reality System for Teaching Robotic Manipulators Programming. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1102.

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