2024 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Brain VR Health

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. John Bieter


We aim to combine scent and virtual reality (VR) to detect Alzheimer’s disease earlier to give people a better quality of life. We have created a device that dispenses scents while people are in a VR environment. In collaboration with others, our group has developed a scent identification game, where the smells dispensed coincide with images. We measure peoples’ ability to correctly identify scents, as declines in scent identification are a known precursor to Alzheimer’s disease. We measure people's ability to correctly identify scents, as declines in scent identification are a symptom of Alzheimer’s. The device itself consists of a chassis that has been 3D printed with PLA plastic and four ultrasonic atomizers to dispense the scents that are stored in wells using cotton. These atomizers are connected to a micro arduino board, which communicates with the VR game to dispel the right scents at the right time. This device simply uses a chord that can plug into any laptop or computer to power it. Lastly, it uses a slide on system to secure onto the VR headset. This device has undergone many iterations over the years, but as of recent the biggest change has been putting the atomizers at a forty five degree angle so the scents are delivered to the nose more efficiently. Our goals are to ensure that this device is able to endure days of testing as well as be user friendly for both the patient and the doctor administering the test.

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