One of the best ways to learn is through example. The holodeck is intended
to allow an instructor to create a completely virtual world to make a
demonstration. The class will network in to the instructor's world and
interact while the teacher guides the students.
Explore the UIC Campus and find your way to class if you get lost. This
includes BSB... No one knows how to work that building!
Every year hundreds of students and others are injured in laboratory accidents,
in spite of all safety precautions. One reason for this is that people tend to
become forgetful and complacent, and stop observing safe laboratory procedures.
Those who have experienced laboratory accidents, however, will remember
those experiences much longer than any set of written rules. Therefore the
overall goal of this project is to produce a set of VR based accident
simulations, to allow users to experience first-hand the consequences of not
following safe laboratory procedures.
Eight to ten different accident scenarios are planned, each with both an "obey
the rule" and a "disobey the rule" option. In order to have the greatest
possible impact on the widest possible audience, the modules will be developed
in both web-based ( VRML, Java3D, WorldUp ) formats and binary
executable ( C Programming, WorldToolKit, OpenGL ) formats, and will
be distributed free of charge via the world wide web.
Development of VR-Based Educational Simulations
This area is a continuation of previous work done at the
Virtual Reality in Chemical Engineering Laboratory ( VRiChEL )
at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Please see that site for further
Device Development and Testing
There are two types of projects planned for this general area:
Testing and evaluation of head-mounted displays, wired gloves, tracking
devices, and other peripheral devices, to determine their usefulness for
PC-based virtual reality. ( Many of the products of VRUPL are intended for
student use, who are presumed more likely to have access to high-speed personal
computers than Silicon Graphics supercomputers. )
Development of new user interface devices for special purposes. This work may
be done in support of ongoing research at the Electronic
Visualization Laboratory or independently.
Integration of Physical Equipment and/or Models with VR Display and Interfaces
This area involves a connection between a computer simulation and external
physical device(s), either as a control interface, or for real-time augmented
data visualization, or for other purposes. Some possible projects include:
Telerobotics - Interface a ( networked ) computer to a physical model
such as a radio controlled car on a small track. Adding a digital video camera
to the front of the car will allow users to remotely operate the car, either
through a virtual reality interface or through more traditional computer
control. The controllability of the car can then be compared under three
scenarios: 1. A user in the room with the car, using traditional RC controls.
2. A user with a remote computer screen, controlling the car using camera
imagery and Java controls. 3. A remote user with a head-mounted display, wired
glove(s), and/or other VR peripheral devices. ( Note: "car" is used as an
example, and could just as easily be a plane, train, lunar rover, etc. )
Real-time visualization of experimental data. A computer equipped with data
collection hardware ( thermocouples, pressure gauges, strain gauges,
etc. ) will feed experimental data in real time to a VR-based simulation.
The simulation could be either a realistic or idealized visualization of the
process from which the data is being collected. Alternatively, augmented
reality could be utilized to provide a "heads-up" overlay of process
visualization on top of the users' view of the real equipment.
Display of GAMESS ( molecular modeling ) data in VRML and/or the
Extension of traditional graphical calculational techniques to
higher-dimensional space, through the three-dimensional immersive, interactive
interface of VR. ( This project is currently being started as a Masters
level project, but there are also opportunities for undergraduate
Development of a non hand-mimicking interfaces for wired glove input. E.g.,
develop manual tools & gestures instead of a virtual hand. ( Sign
language, hand-puppet, marionette interfaces? ) General study of gesture
recognition and gesture-based HCI.