With the release of Gazebo 4 came support for Oculus Rift. Since then, a team of students from the National University of Singapore have implemented an engaging and user-friendly software package for navigating through a simulation environment.
Mohit Shridhar, a 2nd year Computer Engineering student, and his partner David Tat Wai Lee, a 2nd year Industrial and Systems Engineering student, completed an internship at HopeTechnik where they had a chance to work with Gazebo and ROS for the first time. During their internship they worked on project SESTO, an AGV designed to carry medical supplies in hospitals. The target hospital was under construction, which left the team with no way to conduct proper tests. Mohit and David were tasked with simulating the AGV's navigation system in Gazebo along with a model of the hospital.
After creating models in Blender and Solidworks, Mohit and David discovered the Oculus Rift support in Gazebo. With the addition of a PS3 joystick, the team had a first-person perspective into the simulated environment. They quickly got carried away, and added a plethora of features to the Gazebo Navigator which can been seen in the video below.
For those interested in using the Oculus-Rift Gazebo Navigator; the code is available at https://github.com/MohitShridhar/oculus_gazebo_navigator.