Virtual Reality Tractor Simulation

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Sponsors
  • Dev Shrestha
Mentor Bruce Bolden
Team Name PAVR
Duration Spring 2018 - Fall 2018


Precision Agriculture is a recent development that utilizes emerging technologies to optimize the return on investment while reducing the cost in seed, fertilizer, fuel and time. Virtual Reality applications are beginning to emerge as a promising opportunity to create uniquely immersive and engaging experiences for users. This project represents a synthesis of these ideas. We hope to create an immersive and accurate Virtual Reality simulation that allows a user to experience what it is like to drive a tractor, while benefiting from the advent of key Precision Agriculture techniques such as variable rate and GPS. When a simulation reaches a high enough level of fidelity and impressiveness it can fulfill a wide range of needs, from generating interest to cost effective and useful training.

Problem Definition[edit]

Background[edit]

There is a clear demand for high fidelity simulations, which can be used for personal enjoyment or as effective training tools for potential operators. Virtual Reality presents an ideal opportunity to usher in the next generation of immersive simulators. Team P.A.V.R. aims to utilize these technological advances to create an engaging VR simulation, focusing on tractor operation and showcasing the use of relevant Precision Agricultural techniques.

Deliverables[edit]

We aim to handoff a fully immersive and intuitive Virtual Reality Simulation. Complete with feedback on overall performance with the ability to implement variable rate an GPS control assistance. As part of the technology handoff, the project deliverables will include the Oculus Rift, PC tether, and Steering Wheel and Pedal Assembly.

Specifications[edit]

To create an as realistic as possible simulation of tractor operation in a Virtual Environment. Allowing users to experience first hand the advantages of key Precision Agriculture techniques, as well as serving as a possible training tool for tractor operators in the Palouse.

Schedule[edit]

The project has been organized into month long sprints utilizing a loose AGILE framework.

Month Tasks


January 2018 Project Selection and Team Formation
February 2018 Project Learning
March 2018 Tool chain and Hardware Selection
April 2018 Design Synthesis and Review
May 2018 Asset Creation and GIS Integration
June 2018 Finalize Placeholder Assets
July 2018 User Input and User Experience
August 2018 Barebones Prototyping
September 2018 Introduce Variable Rate and GPS Control
October 2018 Preliminary Testing and Performance Optimization
November 2018 Final Testing
December 2018 Product Handoff and EXPO

Technologies[edit]

This project is primarily reliant on existing hardware and software frameworks. Much of the required task can be accomplished by properly utilizing and extending these pre-existing solutions. We have elected to develop the project in Unity utilizing their VR support to run the project on an Oculus Rift headset. After much deliberation the team elected to utilize a physical steering wheel and pedal assembly to capture the majority of user input. Other technologies considered included the default Oculus hand controllers, as well as the Leap Motion 'hand scanner' controller.

Outline[edit]

Testing[edit]

It is difficult to implement a robust testing plan for projects with such a broad scope as an interactive virtual reality system. While it may be possible to build unit tests for some operations (such as data access, scene creation), many bugs may require actual human testing to uncover and rectify.

Team Information[edit]

Team P.A.V.R. Biographies[edit]

Team Member Major
Cameron Parrish:

Cameron is the primary client liaison and team meeting organizer. He is currently working on integrating the GIS data with the 3D map model in Unity.

Computer Science
Jackson Taylor:

Jack is the project's wikimaster and primary 3D modeler, currently working on integrating User Controls and tractor handling.

Computer Science


Team Member Contact Information[edit]

Jackson Taylor - tayl2957@vandals.uidaho.edu
Cameron Parrish - parr3147@vandals.uidaho.edu

Document Archive[edit]