FreemoVR: virtual reality for animals

FreemoVR: virtual reality for animals


Virtual reality is gaining popularity. But who would have thought that the experts from Austria will create a virtual reality system for the animals! Despite some comic idea, the experiment has quite serious scientific study. It is designed to explore brain activity, study the working methods of the areas of the brain responsible for response to environmental change during the movement. The findings will enable the scientists to understand how the brain works not only animals but also humans.

The system is called FreemoVR. It uses an image projection on multiple screens to recreate a photorealistic virtual environment. Thus, animals are placed in a virtual room. The movement of animals, sent into the virtual reality controlled by using 10 high-speed cameras.

The first experimental creatures were flies, fruit flies and fish-Zebra. For them, the scientists placed in the virtual environment of the aliens from the game Space Invaders, with whom the animals bravely “fought”. In addition, a virtual environment was created “portals”, passing through which there is a sharp change of the environment, creating the illusion of displacement to another location.

According to the study, all animals found surrounding virtual reality for “real world”. Fly around the virtual obstacles as in real life, the rodents were scared of the rise to a great height, and the other animals reacted to the appearance of their virtual counterparts, just like in nature. The already mentioned fish-Zebra wanted to join a jamb of the virtual fish kind.

In future experiments, the researchers plan to study the reaction of animals to the emergence of “avatar,” a virtual representative of fauna. And it will change from cartoonish to photorealistic. In order to find the “threshold” at which the brain ceases to perceive the image as the figure and starts to think that this is a real object.