Virtual and Augmented Reality Lab | NC State ISE

Welcome to the Virtual and Augmented Reality Lab

The Virtual and Augmented Reality Lab (VARL) is led by Dr. Karen Chen in the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

Virtual reality, or VR, is a computer-generated graphical space that allows users to experience various environments. Users can travel to the medieval era and then teleport to a fictional village. Augmented reality, or AR, is where computer-generated graphics superimpose with the physical environment. In other words, the objects seen in the real-world are now “augmented” with more information provided by AR technology.

We have a four-sided (C4) Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) with full-body tracking capability, several head-mounted displays (HMDs), and a head-up display (HUD). There are other peripheral devices that support movement tracking.

We are particularly interested in studying the interactions between humans and VR/AR. We want to know how users perceive and behave in VR and AR, and how they are different from the real world (aka physical environment). We also explore the potentials in VR/AR for various real-world applications. Current active projects include user performance training and patient motor learning.

Please contact us at for questions and research opportunities.

We invite you to discover more about our Projects, People, Outreach, and Publications!

Watch Virtual Reality Team on The CW22

Dr. Karen Chen and her research team (Tyler Rose, Rebecca Ellis, and Ken Chen) talk with The CW22’s Bill LuMaye about their virtual and augmented reality research and the VR/AR Lab.

Students Ken Chen and Tyler Rose discuss virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) and their differences

Professor Karen Chen and student Rebecca Ellis discuss how they are using VR/AR in their research

Karen Chen takes viewers on a tour of her VR/AR laboratory