The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset was originally developed with only gaming in mind, but since the company has been sending out units to game developers, the headset has been used for all sorts of neat things. Most recently, the Oculus Rift has given users a first-person view of RC drones thanks to a little hack.
Co-founder of Intuitive Aerial Erik Torkel Danielsson took his company’s Black Armor Drone and paired it with the Oculus Rift. Since the VR headset essentially uses two displays, two cameras were mounted on top of the drone to stream video simultaneously. The drone also has a laptop on board that encodes the video as it’s being received.
From there, the video is then sent to the computer on the ground, from which it is then transmitted to the Oculus Rift. You’re probably thinking this creates a lot of lag, and you’re almost correct, as Danielsson noticed a latency of about 120 milliseconds, which isn’t bad, but it’s ultimately not ideal.
Danielsson and company are working to make the system better, though, including using newer hardware and cutting down the weight of the electrics on board the drone, as well as upgrade the cameras and increase the range of the transmitters.
If you’re wondering what the company will do with this technology, they haven’t mentioned whether or not they plan to sell these kits to the public at some point in the future, but Oculus Rift and drone owners would undoubtedly love to get their hands on this type of technology, and frankly, it’s possible for anyone to do this with a little know-how.