Ronald P. Vullo, Ph.D.

Dr. Vullo is Associate Professor, Department of Information Sciences and Technologies, creator and director of the Minor in Web Design and Development for non-computing Majors, and MAGIC Center faculty affiliate. The DIY VR Headset is his brainchild and he has been prototyping and developing it since late 2014. He has always loved 3D images, movies, etc. and has been making them (mostly anaglyphs) for years. Inspired by Google's release of the "cardboard" he decided to take a stab at making his own VR Headset.


In the Information Sciences and Technologies Department, our focus is on utilizing technology to solve real world, human-centered problems. With a combination of diverse courses, state-of-the-art equipment, and a team of knowledgeable and imaginative faculty, IST gives students the tools they need to ensure a lifetime of success.


The MAGIC Center is designed to bridge the gap between research and prototyping, and the ability to bring industry polish and commercial scale and support to myriad projects. This allows these works to have wider and greater impact. For this reason, MAGIC is composed of both a research laboratory (in which many other labs and working groups are housed or affiliated), and a production studio (which leverages our discoveries in ways that more broadly disseminate our work to peers and to the public at large).

The MAGIC Center at RIT is a conscious and deliberate effort to blur the lines between the arts and the sciences, between technology and expression, between the study of the creation of media and its impact and effect on society and the human condition.

What we're up to

Here are some of the projects we and our friends and colleagues are working on using the DIY VR headset:

Web-Based VR

Dr. V. has been experimenting with using A-Frame combined with his Molly system to develop dynamically generated VR scenes. Needless to say there are numerous applications of this technique. He is currently focusing on social and distance learning uses.

Michelle A. Catalfamo

Miss Catalfamo is an Alumna of the Rochester Institute of Technology's Motion Picture Science program and a member of the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE). She also earned a Minor in Web Design and Development during which she was first exposed to the DIY VR project. Michelle is currently experimenting with shooting 3D video for the DIY VR headset and was one of the first to build her own.


Professor Andy Phelps' students have created a toolset called DELVR to allow gamers to create, modify, and view virtual spaces based on maps and designs for popular role-playing games using our DIY VR headsets. This work illustrates the convergence among web technologies, mobile devices, virtual reality, and old fashioned pen-and-paper role playing games.

Elizabeth Huntzicker

Elizabeth is a student of the School of Interactive Games & Media at RIT, and focuses her studies in Virtual and Augmented reality. She is working under Dr. V. to assist in designing and creating an immersive social environment. She is currently working on tracking user movements via the phone's accelerometer and translating them to the A-Frame Camera component to allow the user to move around in their environment. She is also experimenting with capturing the user's surroundings with the phone's camera for augmented reality and other applications.

Anna Dining

Anna is a senior in the Motion Picture Science program at RIT and has built her own 360° video camera rig which she uses to shoot immersive video. We are working to make those videos easily viewable via the web.

A Year of VR (It's Not Cardboard)

Dr. V. kept something of a visual diary of the first year he experimented and developed the DIY VR headset. You can see all the early versions (attempts) there.

We recommend that you paint or varnish all of the wooden components to seal them and eliminate the toasted wood smell that is the result of laser cutting them. The frame above is not glued yet, just bent and assembled so that the paint can get into the "bendy wood" curved hinges. Be careful with bending because these areas are very fragile. Skinning with fabric strengthens the headset, but at this point in the assembly process it is very easy to break the bendable sections.

This video demonstrates skinning the headset with fabric.

The next step is pre-assembly of the headset's optics.

Here we assemble the headset frame and optics.


Have an idea for a project? Want to make a donation to help fund student kits? Just want to say nice things? Then feel free to get in touch with us! Want to send spam? Then please go away.

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