VIKI: interactive virtual and extended reality platform for multi-physics simulation

CEA-List’s VIKI interactive multi-physics simulation platform helps the institute’s R&D partners to overcome technological challenges for the creation and validation of new concepts using virtual and mixed reality (XR, or eXtended Reality) simulations.

Unparalled equipment

A wide range of VR/XR immersion and interaction capabilities

VIKI is home to a range of equipment that cannot be found anywhere else in France, VIKI is equipped with:

  • A five-sided, 18 cu. m, high-resolution immersive environment with laser projectors.
  • A two-sided (wall and floor) immersive system.
  • A 50 sq. m collaborative XR environment, including:
    • Most of the latest generation of VR and MR headsets: Occulus, HTC Vive, Hololens2, VarjoXR1, etc.
    • Two Haption Virtuose™ 6D haptic interfaces with six degrees of freedom.
    • Motion capture equipment: ART cameras, inertial units, anti-latency trackers, etc.
    • Computing resources for real-time digital simulation.
    • Efficient wireless telecommunication networks: 5G infrastructures, etc.

Some of this equipment was partly financed by government programs: Sesame; French economic recovery instrument EquipEx (DIGISCOPE, 2011-2021); PI5G (2021-2024), part of the 5G recovery plan; and EquipEx+ Continuum (2021-2029).

350 sq. m

of facilities

€3,5 M

in investments




patents (related, namely, to object-to-object collision/contact detection and the digital human)

The VIKI CAVE and VIKI XR environments

"CAVE HR: 18 cu. m, five-sided, six-laser projection room (left) 50 sq.m collaborative extended reality (XR) zone (right) Users can immerse themselves in their business-specific environments and interact with digital mock-ups of their future products and solutions."

Collaborative remote handling task with force feedback.

Teleoperation task involving two operators experimenting a fine insertion manipulation using both arms. Each operator controls a virtual MT200 arm with a haptic interface that provides real-time feedback on all physical interactions.

Cobotic workstation study.

Immersion in a 3D digital mock-up of an assembly line. Users experiment with collaborative human-robot tasks for a Factory of the Future scenario.

VR study of a collaborative scenario.

Two operators immersed in a digital mock-up are experimenting in a collaborative scenario using VR headsets and gesture tracking peripherals.

Unparalleled equipment

The XDE Physics software environment

The XDE software environment leverages 20 years of research and development. It powers high-fidelity interactive simulations of rigid, articulated, and deformable (cables, beams) object manipulation scenarios. It can also simulate all collision interactions between objects, all within a 3D digital mock-up.

It offers several major benefits:

  • Very powerful processing of a wide range of geometric data, including CAD models, point clouds from massive 3D scans, and extracted metadata. Semantic data can also be incorporated into the simulations.
  • Simulation of flexible components such as cables, based on an advanced, geometrically accurate 3D beam model.
  • Dynamic simulation of virtual humans, using a biomechanical approach and whole-body motion control.
  • This type of simulation can help providing posture and effort ratings for workstation ergonomics assessments.
  • Simple scenario creation and coupling with the physical world through MR and XR simulations.

Learn more about the XDE software environment


A multi-use, multi-domain platform

This equipment supports CEA-List R&D projects with applications in advanced manufacturing and the Factory of the Future. We conduct R&D with and for integrators and end-user companies of all sizes operating on a wide range of markets including transportation (automotive, aeronautics, rail), oil and gas, construction, farming and food manufacturing and health.

Increasingly, our partners are using digital twin technology, either in virtual or extended reality simulations, to develop solutions addressing their business challenges. We can support them to prototype, validate or test their products, processes or workstations; commission processes; perform maintenance; assist human operators; assess workstation ergonomics; train operators; dismantle equipment; and more.

Learn more about interactive simulation challenges, means, and uses example

Study of a long and flexible subsea pipe installation for the oil and gas industry, a particularly complex scenario.

In the digital twin of the real system, all elements of the scenario are simulated in interactive time: the barge and its interactions with the sea (swell), the crane handling (a multi-articulated system), the slings and the pipe to be handled (deformable 3D beam using finite-element models).

A digital twin made from a point cloud from a 3D scan.

The user can visualize massive point clouds (more than a billion points) generated from a facility’s scan using virtual reality headset and interact with it.

Paint training in VR.

The human operator uses the real paint gun to learn painting manufactured parts or industrial equipment in a virtual reality environment. The simulator interactively renders the main artefact corresponding to the task, giving the operator realistic feedback and facilitating learning.

EVOC (Enhanced Virtual Open Core) training simulator.

EVOC is a multi-mode VR platform developed for France’s nuclear science institute, INSTN, for life-sized immersive training. Students can learn and practice through high-fidelity multi-physics simulations, using real and virtual resources replicating very closely the physical phenomena associated with nuclear reactor operation.

See also

Software development environments

XDE Physics

XDE Physics simulates manipulation of and interactions between the components of a digital mockup.
Read more
Research programs

Smart robotics

Creating smart interactive robots to serve humans.
Read more
Use Cases


Digital twins are expanding their reach beyond engineering and manufacturing, making inroads into warehouses.
Read more