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This cutting-edge five-sided 4K VR CAVE helps Les Arts et Métiers school to research into the industry of the future.

L’École Supérieure des Arts et Métiers, is a founding member of the Future Industry Alliance, and trains more than 6,000 students each year, with the main task of training engineers in the fields of industry, research, and socio-economics.

In this context of evolution and technological innovation that Les Arts et Métiers, with the help and expertise of VR integrator ST Engineering Antycip (formerly known as Antycip Simulation), has opened a virtual immersion room installed at the Image Institute in Chalon-sur-Saône.

The VR installation

BlueLemon is a free standing five-sided VR CAVE with impressive dimensions, featuring three metres wide front and sides panels and 3.4 metres wide top and bottom ones. It is part of the LiV laboratory which brings together Arts et Métiers and French car manufacturer Renault.

The visually striking content in the CAVE is retro projected thanks to five Christie 4K 25,000 lumen projectors, capable of displaying 1.2mm large pixels to best meet human visual resolution in normal conditions, as well as high contrast ratio in 3D. The system is equipped with a multiple field of view, allowing two users to work collaboratively and simultaneously in the device with dedicated points of view. Users are being tracked using the latest ART tracking systems. A spatialised sound system completes the device and increases the immersive feeling.

VR Applications

This CAVE is being used for four main areas of research:

  • Virtual and augmented reality for the industry of the future. It also facilitates the transfer of technology for regional projects and supports the Franco-German Institute for the Future Industry,
  • Driving simulation,
  • Virtual environments for education and health.
  • Industrial prototyping tool. The BlueLemon VR room hosts studies on Renault's collaborative engineering use cases.

On top of the above, the VR CAVE is also used for conducting research on multi-sensory immersion techniques for VR and AR digital models interaction. Its aim is to help develop VR technologies while acting on different sensory modalities.

Challenges faced

The integration phase called in the entire scope of expertise from the Antycip team in order to study, design and conceive the complex mechanical requirements for the self-standing device, including the integration of five glass screens weighing a tonne each, as well as the various factory acceptance tests before delivery.

The integration process was made more complex by the need to work at a height between three and seven metres. The glass panels were laser-cut before being installed, with a space on each corner of the cube to allow the installation of cameras that interact with a full body suit worn inside the structure.

Antycip then fitted the projectors with reflecting mirrors, as well as the computer graphics system for the content. The final stage consisted in adjusting the projectors colorimetry and convergence, installing the PC suite, the tracking and spatial sound systems, cabling, as well as Antycip’s proprietary control system.


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