Inspired by science fiction, Lockheed Martin has built a virtual reality lab, called the Collaborative Human Immersive Laboratory, in Littleton, Colo.
Wearing a virtual reality helmet and gloves, engineers can run simulations and tweak design in the virtual world – which they call “the cave” – before creating prototypes in this world.
The next-generation GPS III and NASA’s Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle are the first products up for virtual reality design. Wired saw a different potential application of the CHIL: “the world’s most bodacious gaming console.”
Jeff Smith, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company’s director of special projects, said the CHIL would result in cost savings for jet design.
“As customer budget pressures continue, and the need for critical space assets escalates, the CHIL will help increase the affordability and value of our programs,” he said. “While similar technology is being used in the movie industry to create fictitious worlds, the CHIL is real, and it is driving affordability into our products.”
To watch a video demo about the lab, click here.