Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Virtual reality simulator lands at McMaster University

It's the shape and colour of a futuristic space ship. It holds the promise of drawing more young people into the field of information technology.

McMaster University has unveiled the first interactive motion simulator to be used for teaching undergraduate students how to develop software for simulated flight, driving, real-time game design, medical research, virtual reality systems, and a host of other applications.

The mini-van-sized simulator can accommodate up to five people and features a space-ship-pod fiberglass shell, interior projection system and a Dolby digital surround-sound system. It sits on a Moog-built, six-degrees-of- freedom (surge, sway, heave, roll, pitch, yaw), Steward platform with a 1000 Kg (2,205 pound) payload and 0.6 Gs of acceleration (equivalent to a high-performance sports car).

"It is the same simulator technology used by industry for product development and training but now applied in a classroom setting for teaching," explains Martin von Mohrenschildt, Chair of Computing and Software in the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University. "Demand for this knowledge continues to increase. For example, automobiles and aircrafts are now first developed virtually and tested using a simulator, before a prototype is built."

The simulator is one of the more visible elements of a new approach to computing and software education that has been developed by the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster. The Faculty is responding to a general decline in university enrollment for computer science and software engineering programs at a time when demand for information technology employees is growing. Other initiatives undertaken include the launch of a degree program in software engineering and game design, as well as programs in mechatronics engineering and business informatics. Plans for a medical informatics program are also underway.

"We are working to dispel the mistaken notion some people have that there are limited career opportunities in information technology," said von Mohrenschildt. "We are developing programs and curriculum around practical applications of computer science and software engineering. Information technology is not just about writing code or building personal computers. It is about creating solutions and solving real problems faced by industry, business, medicine, entertainment, and every sector of our society."

"The simulator is an entry point for students to learn the latest in 4D- modelling techniques for virtual reality, real-time systems and control, animation tools, user interfaces, and sensory feedback," said von Mohrenschildt. "This technology is finding and driving countless other fields including audio and visual modeling, flight simulation, design prototyping, architectural visualization, animation, and digital image processing."

Gene Nakonechny | EurekAlert!
Further information:

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>