The University of Bath VSimulators platform, a unique ‘moving room’ that can simulate the sensation of being inside a mile-high skyscraper or walking across a swaying bridge, has been nominated for an award for its innovative audio-visual set-up.

The simulator, which combines state-of-the-art virtual reality projection with a climate chamber and a hydraulic motion platform, is designed to help researchers in the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering study people’s reactions to environmental conditions and help engineers design better buildings.

The Bath VSimulator, funded by the EPSRC and completed in late 2019, has been nominated in the Education category of the 2021 Inavate Awards, which celebrate outstanding audio-visual design.

The simulator’s virtual reality ‘cave’, which can immerse test participants in a range of 2D or 3D virtual reality environments, was developed in partnership with industry specialist ST Engineering Antycip.

Dr Antony Darby, Principal Investigator for VSimulators Bath, said: “We were absolutely delighted to hear that our virtual reality installation has been selected as one of only 10 facilities shortlisted for this award.

“By coupling VR capability with a motion platform and environmental chamber, our unique simulator allows us to push the boundaries of research into how people respond to the built environment.”

Dr Jon Slade, VSimulators Experimental Officer, added: “Working in a COVID-secure set-up, we have conducted hundreds of hours of experiments in the past 6 months, which will contribute to making buildings safer and healthier places for people to live and work.”