VR Cockpit

VR   17.8K   
Take control of a virtual reality spaceship
Download Executable Available for Windows.

VR Cockpit is a virtual reality application for Windows requiring the use of an Oculus Rift and a Rift-mounted Leap Motion Controller (using the VR Developer Mount or unofficial alternative).

Available for 64-bit Windows only.

The Cockpit also uses a hybrid input model that allows you to use one of several devices alongside the controller:

  • Saitek X52/Saitek X52 HOTAS (Hands On Throttle and Stick) controls,
  • the XBOX 360 gamepad,
  • the XBOX ONE gamepad, or
  • keyboard controls.

This puts you in control of a virtual spaceship cockpit environment. For the optimum experience, we recommend HOTAS controls.

Before using, enable "Allow Images" through the Leap Motion Control Panel. This app also includes Quick Switch – just swipe your hand vertically between 1 and 2 inches from the device to jump between the app and video passthrough.

Licensed subject to Leap Motion SDK Agreement


The VR Cockpit is an ongoing research project investigating design patterns for hybrid interfaces using physical hardware and motion controlled interactions. As a pre-production demo, it also explores a variety of other concepts including:

  • the use of narrative context to aid motion control usability
  • visual and audio feedback mechanisms for motion control interfaces
  • the use of image passthrough effects to blur the border between virtual and augmented reality experiences

The space simulator genre provides an excellent sandbox for exploring these concepts, in part because it already makes heavy use of complex physical controls, which can be cumbersome in traditional VR. With our team’s approach, the controls are integrated so that your real world hands and the HOTAS or gamepad controls are visible inside the cockpit.

Cockpit Controls

Motion controls are used for all of the secondary ship systems, such as navigation, while HOTAS controls are responsible for the ship’s primary controls, such as ship thrust and rotation. There are six main control systems inside the Cockpit:

  • Joystick: Control the direction of your spaceship using a HOTAS joystick or gamepad.
  • Throttle: Control the speed of your spaceship using a HOTAS throttle or gamepad shoulder buttons.
  • Power System: Reach up towards the Power Systems icon to make the controls appear for distributing power between your ship’s systems. You can use the sliders associated with each of the ship’s Power Systems to set the power allocated to various subsystems.
  • Navigation System: Reach to your left towards the Navigation system icon to activate the navigation system menu. Using this menu, you can select between various destinations for your ship’s hyperdrive to take you.
  • Hyperspace Jump Button: After you’ve selected a destination using the navigation system, the Hyperspace Jump Button will appear in the front and center in the cockpit. Activate the hyperspace button by using both hands to press down on it – and hang on!
  • Communication System: Reach to your right towards the Communication system icon to activate the Communication System menu. Using this menu, you can listen to messages from various communication channels.

Aligning a HOTAS

As this is a pre-production demo, and an ongoing research project, some alignment is necessary to fully utilize your HOTAS. By mapping your real-world controls to the virtual joystick, you can quickly and easily access it within the VR environment.

Instructions are provided in the demo itself, and we've created a video that provides a more in-depth demonstration of alignment procedures.

Known Issues:

  • On some computers using lower-end i5 or AMD processors with nVidia graphics cards, tracking can intermittently freeze, requiring the Leap Motion service to be restarted.
  • If a HOTAS and gamepad are both plugged in, they may interfere with each other. To resolve only launch the demo with a HOTAS or a gamepad plugged in.