Oculus Rift and Virtuix Omni used in virtual walk on Mars

9:30 PM on 08.06.2013

Darren Nakamura

Associate Editor

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If the slew of recent and upcoming games on the red planet are any indication, there is a significant amount of interest in exploring Earth's second-closest neighbor. Nobody knows this better than the engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who have put together a virtual tour of Mars using the latest tech gadgets alongside images from the Curiosity rover and terrain data collected via satellite.

It started with the Oculus Rift headset being used to view panoramic images taken by Curiosity, and eventually led to using the Virtuix Omni to simulate an actual walk on the surface of Mars. Sadly, watching a YouTube video of somebody else taking a virtual tour is probably the closest most of us will ever get to actually traveling to Mars. At the very least, we can all sit around listening to "The Case for Mars" while hoping that JPL makes this project publicly available at some point.

NASA JPL takes a VR tour of Mars with Oculus Rift and Virtuix Omni (video) [Engadget]

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