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Microsoft Research’s VROOM combines life-sized AR avatars with robots

May 07, 2020 / KHARI JOHNSON

Microsoft Research today introduced Virtual Robot Overlay for Online Meetings (VROOM), a way to combine AR and VR to bring life-sized avatars into the workplace in the form of telepresence robots. Makers of VROOM detailed the system in a recently released paper and said it’s meant to make the person working remotely in VR and the person working in the office and wearing a HoloLens AR headset feel like they’re in the same place. As a Windows Mixed Reality headset tracks the remote worker’s pose and head movement, they get a 360-degree view of the surroundings and any movements via the telepresence robot. A Unity app is used to animate the avatar for the person wearing the HoloLens based on the movement of the remote worker.