Skip to main content


Virtual Simulators: A Research Scoping Workshop

Aim of the workshop is to make researchers aware of the new VSimulators facility and encourage collaboration leading to funded research projects using the new facility.

Event details



VSimulators is an EPSRC Strategic Equipment award led by Prof James Brownjohn (Exeter). The 3 year EPSRC award is to provide  equipment and technical and management staff at Exeter and Bath sites, after which the facilities are expected to be self-supporting via applied (i.e. industry-funded) research and RCUK-funded research.

Exeter Equipment: A 4mx4m rigid platform driven by a ‘hexapod’ providing motion in all six translational and rotational axes. Optimised for simulation in the range 0.5-40Hz, it uses state of the art VR with head mounted displays (HMDs) for realistic audio-visual simulation of built environments. The floor is covered with an array of multi-axis force plates to recover ground reaction forces generated by occupants. The open platform is in a controlled laboratory environment which enables occupant motion capture using both optical and inertial systems. Removable treadmills and fans enhance simulation of open space movement. The platform will provide capability for a host of applications in healthcare and rehabilitation (trips, falls, assisted mobility) and movement science (posture, balance and locomotion).

Bath Equipment: A building sway simulator featuring a unique climate controlled chamber with precise environmental control and extensive occupant monitoring. The chamber is reconfigurable as an office, hotel, sitting room, hospital room, etc. Internal factors (lighting, temperature, humidity, smell, noise, air flow) and external actors (motion, view, surroundings) can be varied and manipulated to explore effects and interactions among stimuli affecting building occupant health, comfort and hence productivity. Limited optical virtual reality (VR) uses fixed internal screens, and wireless physiological sensing couples the imposed stimuli with psychological testing and response of human test subjects.



Potential VSimulators application has been identified for:

  • Effects of impaired functioning of lower extremities in sports, disease and rehabilitation;
  • Effects of sway, oscillations, and locomotion on object holding and carrying ability, having applications in sports, exercise, surgery, construction and transport;
  • Vestibular control of posture with applications to trips and falls in ageing population;
  • Mechanisms of carer ‘light touch’ in improving stability of patients with balance problems;
  • Effects of ankle muscle stiffness on posture and balance;
  • Use of ‘virtual partners’ to guide rehabilitation physiotherapy for perturbed environments;
  • Interventions to improve patient wellbeing by reducing falls and assisting mobility;
  • Using head mounted VR displays to realistically simulate rehabilitation strategies;


Please register your attendance with Vicki Goodwin -