We love a cool piece of technology and the University of Iowa provided just that when it unveiled its new ATV simulator this week. According to a report on the university’s website, the simulator is designed to help researchers understand how and why people lose control on ATVs.

Truly a sophisticated device, the simulator features an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, suit with 17 motion sensors and Yamaha Bruin 350 ATV secured on a motion platform.

“We’ve had a more basic ATV simulator, but this version is more sophisticated,” Charles Jennissen, a member of the UI Children’s Hospital ATV Safety Task Force, told now.uiowa.edu. “Now we have virtual reality goggles, so the screen reflects the movements of the platform. As you turn the steering wheel, you also turn in the virtual reality environment, which makes the experience feel more realistic for research subjects.”

What is especially great about this simulator is that was created with the help of University of Iowa students. Biomedical engineering student Jake Michael and mechanical engineering student Kyle Losik each played a major role in building the simulator and designing the VR environment. Engineering faculty member Salam Rahmatalla provided leadership on the project.

The new ATV simulator will allow researchers an environment to test ATV drivers of all ages and experience levels to see how they react to different riding conditions.




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