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Virtual reality visualization of distributed tele-experiments

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5 Author(s)
Hopp, A. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Bonn Univ., Germany ; Schulz, D. ; Burgard, W. ; Cremers, A.B.
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The increased costs of laboratory environments such as mobile robots and the specialization of research groups increase the demand for collaboration between different research groups. Although the Internet can be regarded as the most important medium for cooperation over large distances, it does not provide the necessary bandwidth for the transmission of video-streams required, for example, during a tele-experiment wish a mobile robot. In this paper, the authors present a combination of a tele-experimentation environment for autonomous mobile robots (RTL) with a minimal rendering tool-kit for virtual reality (MRT-VR). The RTL-system includes means for bridging transmission gaps by using simulation techniques to predict the robots actions and supports automatic viewpoint selection for virtual cameras in the MRT-VR system. The MRT-VR allows the online visualization of experiments in a virtual environment. MRT-VR additionally supports natural navigation of the user through the 3D virtual environment in various aspects. It includes a collision detection to avoid users getting inside of objects such as walls or cupboards and supports climbing of stairs. Additionally users can select different viewpoints or even automatically follow the robot during its operation. Finally it supports the synchronization of the viewpoints for distributed observers. This paper demonstrates that, by combining both techniques, an improved visualization quality with respect to the precision of the simulation and the ease of operation of tele-operated systems is obtained

Published in:

Industrial Electronics Society, 1998. IECON '98. Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference of the IEEE  (Volume:4 )

Date of Conference:

31 Aug-4 Sep 1998