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Distributed Virtual Reality: System Concepts for Cooperative Training and Commanding in Virtual Worlds
Eckhard Freund,Jürgen Rossmann
Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics , 2003,
Abstract: The general aim of the development of virtual reality technology for automation applications at the IRF is to provide the framework for Projective Virtual Reality which allows users to "project" their actions in the virtual world into the real world primarily by means of robots but also by other means of automation. The framework is based on a new task-oriented approach which builds on the "task deduction" capabilities of a newly developed virtual reality system and a task planning component. The advantage of this new approach is that robots which work at great distances from the control station can be controlled as easily and intuitively as robots that work right next to the control station. Robot control technology now provides the user in the virtual world with a "prolonged arm" into the physical environment, thus paving the way for a new quality of userfriendly man machine interfaces for automation applications. Lately, this work has been enhanced by a new structure that allows to distribute the virtual reality application over multiple computers. With this new step, it is now possible for multiple users to work together in the same virtual room, although they may physically be thousands of miles apart. They only need an Internet or ISDN connection to share this new experience. Last but not least, the distribution technology has been further developed to not just allow users to cooperate but to be able to run the virtual world on many synchronized PCs so that a panorama projection or even a cave can be run with 10 synchronized PCs instead of high-end workstations, thus cutting down the costs for such a visualization environment drastically and allowing for a new range of applications.
The Physical World as a Virtual Reality  [PDF]
Brian Whitworth
Computer Science , 2008,
Abstract: This paper explores the idea that the universe is a virtual reality created by information processing, and relates this strange idea to the findings of modern physics about the physical world. The virtual reality concept is familiar to us from online worlds, but our world as a virtual reality is usually a subject for science fiction rather than science. Yet logically the world could be an information simulation running on a multi-dimensional space-time screen. Indeed, if the essence of the universe is information, matter, charge, energy and movement could be aspects of information, and the many conservation laws could be a single law of information conservation. If the universe were a virtual reality, its creation at the big bang would no longer be paradoxical, as every virtual system must be booted up. It is suggested that whether the world is an objective reality or a virtual reality is a matter for science to resolve. Modern information science can suggest how core physical properties like space, time, light, matter and movement could derive from information processing. Such an approach could reconcile relativity and quantum theories, with the former being how information processing creates space-time, and the latter how it creates energy and matter.
Verbal Interactions in Virtual Worlds  [PDF]
Pierre Nugues
Computer Science , 2000,
Abstract: We first discuss respective advantages of language interaction in virtual worlds and of using 3D images in dialogue systems. Then, we describe an example of a verbal interaction system in virtual reality: Ulysse. Ulysse is a conversational agent that helps a user navigate in virtual worlds. It has been designed to be embedded in the representation of a participant of a virtual conference and it responds positively to motion orders. Ulysse navigates the user's viewpoint on his/her behalf in the virtual world. On tests we carried out, we discovered that users, novices as well as experienced ones have difficulties moving in a 3D environment. Agents such as Ulysse enable a user to carry out navigation motions that would have been impossible with classical interaction devices. From the whole Ulysse system, we have stripped off a skeleton architecture that we have ported to VRML, Java, and Prolog. We hope this skeleton helps the design of language applications in virtual worlds.
Virtual Reality and Special Needs  [cached]
Tara L. Jeffs
Themes in Science and Technology Education , 2009,
Abstract: The use of virtual environments for special needs is as diverse as the field of Special Educationitself and the individuals it serves. Individuals with special needs often face challenges withattention, language, spatial abilities, memory, higher reasoning and knowledge acquisition.Research in the use of Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) targets both cognition and behavior(Rizzo, et.al, 2001). Virtual environments encourage interactive learning and provide avariety of opportunities for the learner to have control over the learning process (Pantelidis,1993). Virtual reality technology is an exciting tool that involves a safe and supportive environmentto transfer knowledge between virtual and real worlds. Through such technology,individuals with special needs can look carefully at their own strengths, abilities, and learningpreferences in comparison to the required learning task and expected learning outcome. Thisarticle reviews relevant research that explores the use of virtual reality for individuals withspecial needs.
Collaborative virtual gaming worlds in higher education  [cached]
Nicola Whitton,Paul Hollins
Research in Learning Technology , 2008, DOI: 10.3402/rlt.v16i3.10900
Abstract: There is growing interest in the use of virtual gaming worlds in education, supported by the increased use of multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) and massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) for collaborative learning. However, this paper argues that collaborative gaming worlds have been in use much longer and are much wider in scope; it considers the range of collaborative gaming worlds that exist and discusses their potential for learning, with particular reference to higher education. The paper discusses virtual gaming worlds from a theoretical pedagogic perspective, exploring the educational benefits of gaming environments. Then practical considerations associated with the use of virtual gaming worlds in formal settings in higher education are considered. Finally, the paper considers development options that are open to educators, and discusses the potential of Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) for learning in higher education. In all, this paper hopes to provide a balanced overview of the range of virtual gaming worlds that exist, to examine some of the practical considerations associated with their use, and to consider their benefits and challenges in learning and teaching in the higher education context.
Virtual Laboratories and Virtual Worlds  [PDF]
Piet Hut
Physics , 2007, DOI: 10.1017/S1743921308016153
Abstract: Since we cannot put stars in a laboratory, astrophysicists had to wait till the invention of computers before becoming laboratory scientists. For half a century now, we have been conducting experiments in our virtual laboratories. However, we ourselves have remained behind the keyboard, with the screen of the monitor separating us from the world we are simulating. Recently, 3D on-line technology, developed first for games but now deployed in virtual worlds like Second Life, is beginning to make it possible for astrophysicists to enter their virtual labs themselves, in virtual form as avatars. This has several advantages, from new possibilities to explore the results of the simulations to a shared presence in a virtual lab with remote collaborators on different continents. I will report my experiences with the use of Qwaq Forums, a virtual world developed by a new company (see http://www.qwaq.com)
Virtual Reality
Dan L. Lacr?m?,Dorina Fera
Annals. Computer Science Series , 2007,
Abstract: This paper is focused on the presentation of Virtual Reality principles together with the main implementation methods and techniques. An overview of the main development directions is included.
Virtual Reality  [PDF]
Dan L. Lacrama,Dorina Fera
Computer Science , 2009,
Abstract: This paper is focused on the presentation of Virtual Reality principles together with the main implementation methods and techniques. An overview of the main development directions is included.
Corporate Training in Virtual Worlds
Charles Nebolsky,Nicholas K. Yee,Valery A. Petrushin,Anatole V. Gershman
Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics , 2004,
Abstract: This paper presents virtual training worlds that are relatively low-cost distributed collaborative learning environments suitable for corporate training. A virtual training world allows a facilitator, experts and trainees communicating and acting in the virtual environment for practicing skills during collaborative problem solving. Using these environments is beneficial to both trainees and corporations. Two system prototypes – the sales training and the leadership training virtual worlds – are described. The leadership training course design is discussed in details.
Integrating Virtual Worlds and Virtual Learning Environments in Schools in Developing Economies
Omieno K. Kelvin,Wanyembi Gregory,Mbugua M. Samuel
International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Research , 2005,
Abstract: In recent years there has been significant growth in the use of 3D virtual worlds for e-learning and distance education. Virtual learning environment (VLE) has achieved an adequate level of development and supports teaching and learning in an educational context, offering the functionality to manage the presentation, administration and assessment of coursework. This paper’s main philosophical claims are that virtuality is itself a bonafide mode of reality and that VLEs must be understood as a possible platform for effective and quality teaching, learning and training. The paper investigates the suitability of virtual learning in Higher Education Institutions in Africa. It also explains virtual reality principle, describes the interactive educational environment, highlights the challenges HEIs face in the traditional mode of delivery and discusses educational benefits of implementing virtual reality. A number of demonstrative examples showing how virtual world/virtual learning environments can be integrated will be shown and the potential opportunities that exist in this area discussed. The paper then proposes a model for integrating virtual world tools with the existing learning environments.
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