That virtual battlespace will be just one of the applications you could experience when Iowa State University's Virtual Reality Applications Center unveils its improved virtual reality room. The demonstrations will show off the room's new abilities to produce virtual reality at the world's highest resolution.
The public is invited to tour C6 -- Iowa State's 10-foot by 10-foot virtual reality cube that immerses users in computer-generated 3-D images and eight channels of audio -- from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, April 26, in Howe Hall on the Iowa State campus. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (515) 294-3092. The tours will be part of the Emerging Technologies Conference 07.
Crews have recently completed nearly $5 million in equipment upgrades to C6 and the technology that operates it. Iowa State's C6 now projects more than twice the resolution produced by any other virtual reality room in the world. It also projects 16 times the pixels produced by the original C6.
Iowa State's C6 opened in June 2000 as the country's first six-sided virtual reality room designed to immerse users in images and sound. The graphics and projection technology that made such immersion possible hadn't been updated since the C6 opened.
The difference between the original equipment and the updated technology "is like putting on your glasses in the morning," said James Oliver, the director of Iowa State's Virtual Reality Applications Center and a professor of mechanical engineering.
The new equipment -- a Hewlett-Packard computer cluster featuring 96 graphics processing units, 24 Sony digital projectors, an eight-channel audio system and ultrasonic motion tracking technology -- were installed by the Mechdyne Corp. of Marshalltown. The project is supported by a U.S. Department of Defense appropriation through the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.
The April 26 demonstration of the higher speeds, better pictures and improved realism in C6 will also show the technology's versatility. Featured applications will show how researchers are using C6 to visualize data from as many as 22,000 genes, train soldiers for urban combat, show students how plant photosynthesis works, display data from an atom probe microscope and help engineers visualize new products. A new demonstration application will also take you on a virtual trek to a tropical island, including a hovercraft trip over the sea and a dive to explore a shipwreck.
Oliver is leading the research team that's using C6 to develop a control interface for the military's next generation of unmanned aerial vehicles. The researchers are building a virtual environment that allows operators to see the vehicles, the surrounding airspace, the terrain they're flying over as well as information from instruments, cameras, radar and weapons systems. The system would allow a single operator to control many vehicles.
The C6 upgrade will move that project forward, Oliver said.
"The idea is to get the right information to the right person at the right time," Oliver said. "There's a tsunami of information coming toward you and you have to convey it effectively. We think this kind of large-scale, immersive interface is the only way to develop sophisticated controls."
So those 100 million pixels are going to make a difference, Oliver said.
"Seeing is going to be believing," he said. "This upgrade will enhance our ability to amplify the creativity and productivity of people. It will help us build on the center's record as a world leader in virtual reality. And it's one more way Iowa State can be the best at putting science and technology to work."
In addition to showing off C6, the Emerging Technologies Conference at Iowa State April 25-27 will feature displays and demonstrations of student research projects. There will also be presentations by three authors and a vice president for Yahoo! Research in Howe Hall's Alliant Energy-Lee Liu Auditorium. Don Norman, who studies the relationship between people and technology and wrote "The Design of Everyday Things," will speak from 1-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 25; Neal Stephenson, the best-selling author of the "Baroque Cycle" ("Quicksilver," "The Confusion" and "The System of the World") will speak from 4-5 p.m. Thursday, April 26; Guy Kawasaki, the managing director of an early stage venture capital firm and author of "The Art of the Start," will speak from 9:30-11:15 a.m. Friday, April 27; and Raghu Ramakrishnan, a vice president and research fellow at Yahoo! Research, will speak from 1:30-2:30 p.m. April 27.
All conference events are in Howe Hall and are free and open to the public. More information and a complete schedule are available at www.vrac.iastate.edu/etc2007.
German Research Foundation supports new theoretical physics project at Jacobs University Bremen
18.12.2018 | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions
12.12.2018 | Universität Zürich
Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.
Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...
The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.
Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...
What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
18.12.2018 | Materials Sciences
18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy