Deakin University brings dinosaurs to life with VR

Dr Ben Horan, Director of Deakin University’s CADET VR Lab, and Dr Kaja Antlej, Industrial Design Lecturer and researcher in digital heritage interpretation, are working to create ‘real life’ educational experiences of dinosaurs in museums.  They are using a combination of virtual reality and 2D printing technology to breathe life into dinosaur fossils.

They have used their technological expertise to show the palaeontological dig site, as well as the physical characteristics of a living Leaellynasaura – a dinosaur species that lived in the Otways region of Victoria around 100 million years ago.

Dr Antlej explained why they were taking part in the project: “In the past, when going to a museum, how could people immerse themselves in a dinosaur’s habitat and get a feeling of what it would be like to be one of these creatures? VR can show us elements of a dinosaur’s life that wasn’t previously possible.”

“We are very excited to not only provide visitors with an immersive VR experience, but allow them to touch and play with the dinosaur model,” she said.

The Deakin University researchers are working on the project as part of a collaboration with Museum Victoria, Geelong’s National Wool Museum and paleontologist Dr Patricia Vickers-Rich from Swinburne University. The outcome of this collaborative project will form part of an exhibition at the National Wool Museum in Geelong later this year.

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