6 Degree of Freedom RF Position Tracking for Virtual Reality Applications

Period of Performance: 10/15/1998 - 08/15/1999

$70K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Genisys Research & Development, Inc.
811 Court St., Suite 214
Utica, NY 13502
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Facilities such as CAVE and GROTTO utilize rear projection displays to immerse the subject into the virtual scene Their success for scientific visualization and training has created the need for body tracking technology that does not exist. Current tracking systems based on magnetic sensors are only useable at short range and tracking can be significantly affected by nearby metallic objects. The proposed approach to whole body tracking for immersive environments is to utilize modulated RF tags with an inertial sensor. The tags are placed on the object whose motion is to be tracked. A stationary tracking receiver queries each tag by emitting a unique code. The tag responds by transmitting a dual frequency ranging waveform modulated by the attitude as provided by a solid state gyro. The phase difference between the two frequencies provides range which is processed to estimate tag position while demodulation provides attitude. Data is made available to a workstation where synchronization of subject position with projected video takes place. With recent interest in RF ID tags, wireless products and solid state gyroscopes there is an abundance of low cost RF ICs and subsystems which can be used to construct a demonstration prototype with little risk