VR and Robotics: How High School Students Programmed a Robot In VR

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In August 2019, Varwin collaborated with ROBBO, a company that provides an educational set for creating smart devices, to build a project that unites VR and robotics. We challenged high school students to build a project that helps a robot navigate in VR. Within just 9 days a team of three 17-year-olds managed to program a robot in virtual reality. This project was assigned to them as a part of the 9-day International Project School they participated in, which was held at Innopolis University. This Project School is organized annually for talented high-school students, and it includes working with innovative technologies to solve real cases.

The students chose Varwin Reality Management System (RMS) for their project, which helped them streamline VR development. While some of the team members already had experience programming on Unity (Varwin is a Unity-based platform), others had to learn on the go. Varwin RMS was new to all of them, however, according to the students, they found the platform quite easy to operate. Alex, one of the team members, said, “Navigating within the platform was not difficult at all. I would say that the main difficulty for me was the robot simulation. I tried to make it as believable and physically correct as possible.”

The end goal for the team was to create a VR project that would help a robot navigate in VR and to eliminate mistakes while programming it. From a technical standpoint, the students had to repeat the same programming blocks that were used in Google Blockly. Thanks to VR, it was possible to recreate all the actions that the real robot would be able to perform and optimize the set of skills for it. By connecting VR and robotics, we simplified the process of programming robots and allowed more people to participate in it - you no longer need to own a robot to set programs for it. Adel, one of the team members, shares, “Programming a robot in VR is much easier, and it saves time for peopl