School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Integration of SteamVR tracking hardware development kit with custom VR props and Baxter robot

Internships Summer 2017/18

Proposed Project Title:

  • Integration of SteamVR tracking hardware development kit with custom VR props and Baxter robot

Principal Supervisor(s):
  • Dr K Rafferty

Project Description:

The Vive virtual reality (VR) head mounted display (HMD) from HTC & Steam allows users to enter VR in a room scale environment. This is made possible by its tracking solution. Two base stations that accompany the headset are mounted 2m off the ground and opposite corners of a workspace up to 4.6m2, they sweep structured light lasers across the workspace, which are picked up by sensors in the headset (and the accompanying controllers). Two base stations can track multiple headsets and multiple controllers. The tracking solution easily allows for scaling.

In February 2017, the sensor technology contained within the headset and controllers that detects the lasers has been released in a development kit (See links [1,2] below). This allows for any type of device or object that one can imagine to be tracked, at millimetre accuracy, and placed within VR.

This project would involve development of a custom end effector for the Baxter robot integrated with the tracking development kit. Such a device would have multiple uses within the responsive environments lab, including calibration of currently developed haptics systems.

This project is at the forefront of VR development, the development kit has only been released and is likely to be taken up by anyone wishing to place objects into VR. It will give the student experience in technology that very few people in the world have, giving them a highly desirable skill set.



  1. Gain an understanding of the HDK and how the sensors integrate with current systems
  2. Develop a simple VR prop and write a report on the calibration process that allows it to be accurately tracked.
  3. Provide a demonstration of tracking prop
  4. Develop a custom end effector for the Baxter Robot that can be accurately tracked
  5. Demonstrate the Baxters end effector being tracking within VR

Academic Requirements:

You must be able to code in C++ for this project or have the ability and desire to pick up this language quickly.

Have an interest in hardware development. 

General Information:

Each internship will last between 6-8 weeks and will pay a weekly stipend of £200.

Accommodation and travel costs are not provided under this scheme.

Start date: OTN

Duration:  8 weeks

Location: Responsive Environments Lab – 10th Floor Ashby Building

Further information available at:

Contact details:

Supervisor Name: Dr Karen Rafferty

Queens University of Belfast
School of EEECS,
Ashby Building,
Stranmillis Road,

Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 4280

For further information on Research Area click on link below: