VIRTUAL REALITY TO ALLOW WHEELCHAIR USERS TOURING COMPLEX ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES IN A REALISTIC MANNER. TOWARDS THEIR ACTUAL SOCIAL INTEGRATION
Keywords: Virtual Reality, Digital Cultural Heritage, Disabled People, Motion Platform, Haptic Simulator
Abstract. Technology development really reaches its highest point when it becomes a tool to facilitate life to people, especially to those more disadvantaged groups. This is the case of people with disabilities, who find lots of barriers to cope with the most usual and simplest things in their day-to-day. This fact is even more significant when they happen to face heritage buildings or environments. For instance, blind people or people with reduced mobility too often come upon architectural barriers that stop them from enjoying sites and monuments. Focused on people that have to use wheelchairs, a VR experience have been developed in order to provide them with the most realistic sensations while virtually touring on their wheelchairs some archaeological sites. This paper presents the steps forder the users to have the same sensations as if they were wheeling on the floor while visiting the site: irregularities, slopes and narrowness. The VR application has been developed to traverse one of the most monumental buildings of the whole Spanish Protohistory, the site of Cancho Roano (Zalamea de la Serena, Spain). The procedure to generate its digital 3D model from real data acquired with a laser scanner is also dealt with in it.