Humans and rats interact in virtual reality ‘beaming’ experiment

Human/rat VR interaction

Researchers at the University of Barcelona and University College London (UCL) have used a custom-made virtual reality (VR) system to allow humans and rats to interact on the same level. Writing in a paper published in the journal PLOS ONE earlier this week, the scientists describe the process as ‘beaming’ — human participants are given a VR headset which allows them to control a virtual avatar, shown above, while the movements of a rat in a separate enclosure are mapped on to a second avatar. A robot in the rat’s enclosure represents the human, its movements scaled down to fit the smaller space.

During the experiment, the rats and humans were located more than seven miles apart, at different locations near the University of…

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