Project Description

VAR Rover is a VAR Lab sponsored Senior Design project under taken in the 2021/22 academic year by two teams (i.e., Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering teams).


The VAR Lab creates virtual/augmented reality solutions for the modern world. One of their many projects includes making virtual tours of different locations, like the Wintergreen Gorge. The problem that they encounter is the highly repetitive process that it takes to capture lidar scans or photos of the various environments. Prep time for each scan or photo is significant. For instance, VAR Lab attendants must set up the tripod, adjust the height of the camera, level the camera to the environment, and take the picture, all while remaining out of the line of site of the camera or scanner. Next, the lab attendant would pull it all down, move to a new location (sometimes only a yard away) and repeat the whole process.


  • Create an auto-leveling device to automatically level their camera/scanner.
  • Create a height adjustment device to lift the auto-leveling device and attached camera.
  • Develop a drivetrain to move the height adjustment/auto-leveler/camera.
  • Develop a power-distribution system to power all subsystems.


  • The rover with the temporary chassis can be seen in the photo to the right. All systems are fully functional.
  • The permanent chassis system will be completed and installed during the summer, prior to the start of the Fall 2022 semester.
  • The VAR Lab will have a reduction of time for one capture from which could take several minutes when done manually, to approximately 5 seconds, when done using the VAR Rover.
  • This will reduce project times from days with the previous process to hours with this new process.