Collaborative environments

Description

The infrastructure is providing access to Augmented Reality facilities and collaborative environments for scientific research. In order to find contact details from each VISIONAIR member and to explore suitable facilities please visit the resources e-map. Additionally, further information about the members is provided below.

Main goals are:

  • to allow usage of advanced Augmented Reality platforms for scientific experimentation
  • to support the use of the services offered by the institutions for research projects at transnational level

The ACE (Augmented Collaborative Environments) infrastructure is build around the need for researchers, to mutualize their expertise and work power in order to take up contemporary challenges: sustainable development, climate changes, healthcare,novel product development processes.... Great scientific breakthroughs are often invoked in teamwork, and the complexity of scientific problems call for a deep collaboration between scientists.

This observation is true for research inside well defined communities but also for interdisciplinary work. Distinct scientific communities will to fosters their knowledge and competencies on common artefacts that do not belong to one sole scientific field but cross the frontiers of disciplinary work. This work package aims at providing collaborative environments for researchers of various communities, as we claim that direct human interaction are as much valuable as mediated interaction. Visualization must be considered as a key point for mutual understanding and ability to share scientific data and representations, in a synchronous manner.

Objectives

The equipment proposed in the infrastructure allows multiple co-located persons to visualize and exchange on the same perception (Holographic displays and tables, stereoscopic 3D High Definition projections...), or on multi-form representations. Further more, Augmented Reality (AR) facilities ease the use of mixed visualisation with any possible combinations of real (physical) models and/or digital models. As a result, expert's personal representations of knowledge can be superimposed to form and share new knowledge patterns; Technologies vary from one installation to another, depending of the requirements of users for seamless interactions.

However, visualisation is not enough to support collaboration. Consequently, each installation help concurrent interaction with these numerical representations, thanks to haptic devices, multitouch surfaces, interactive boards or innovative interfaces.

Collaboration may also be provided for distant sites. Hence, interoperability between installations is made possible so that costs, times and environmental impacts of traveling may be drastically reduced, providing that new usage spread of the users community. Video conference systems, available on every installations, reinforce the capacity to interact between distant researchers, sharing vision and applications.

Finally, many facilities can contribute to the materialization of the researchers activities: concept or objects may be prototyped via rapid prototyping facilities, and scientific argues, decision making processes and knowledge expressions can be captured and recorded on long lasting support (audio and video recording facilities). All these equipments rely on (or involve) commercial and lab-made softwares which enhanced the entirely visual collaboration.

Services provided by the infrastructure partners are currently rather engineering sciences oriented, due to the scientific background of the partners. As a consequence candidates researchers to a transnational access will experience cutting edge technologies in the field of product design, virtual manufacturing or decision making process. However, multiple experiences have proven that such devices could serve a wider range of scientific communities.

Research Proposal

Collaborative environments were already used for surgery simulation and analysis, industrial archaeology, safety analysis and evaluation... More generally, any complex system or digital artefact can be submitted to deep analysis thanks to the visualisation and interactions facilities. 3D annotation, live modification or reconstruction (skull, art sculpture...) of real or virtual models are conceivable by local or disseminated researchers, with the ability to keep trace of any interaction originator.

A non exhaustive list of potential candidate would contain: arts, medical sciences, geography, sociology, sports... all able to visualize and manipulate their artefacts at any desired scale (from nanoscale components to stellar systems).

At a different level, researchers who have interest in the study of human behaviour (cognitive sciences, psychology, ergononomics...) in a mediated collaborative context are fully entitled to apply.

They can't benefit of this state of the art technologies to analyse and anticipate future behaviours and everyday acceptance of their usage.

Partners

Click on a partner to read more information about them

Grenoble INP (France)

Mexico platforms has been built to cary on research on concurrent engineering. It provides facilities to support collaborative work with co-located or distant designers: holographic display, mobile interactive board, multitouch table, collaborative and engineering software, haptic harm coupled with stereoscopic 3D HD visualisation facility.

In order to produce material for activity analysis, a video edition system (with multiplexing of up to 4 video stream) is available for experiments recordings and corpus creation.

Many research projects has been achieved thanks to the installation: collaborative surgical tools design, comparative design methodology study, lab-made collaborative software benchmarks, as well as academic actions such as international innovation contest.

Since mixed reality is proposed our prototyping facilities may be used to create new physical elements to mix real mock-up and virtual ones. The facilities will be also connected with other installation for remote practises mixing various devices.

University of Twente (Netherlands)

VR-Lab aims at supporting research in the field of stakeholders integration during decision making process.

It provides holographic display, 3d visualisation and more than 10 beamers to set up multiple visualisation configurations. Several haptic devices and multi-touch surfaces (from PC to large screen) permit interactions with virtual models.

Full body motion capturing and a 7.1 surround sound system complete a true synthetic environment. 3D scanning and printing facilities are also available to import and export models into the visualisation system.

This facilities will be connected with other installations of other partners to provide capacity to experiment remote synthetic practise over various devices.

University of Patras (Greece)

LMS Holographic system is consisted by a state-of-the-art holographic display that projects airborne images for high fidelity visualization and interactive presentation of virtual prototypes, aiming at mutli-user environments.

The system is based on the EON Reality ICrystal device that offers high Definition (1280x768) holograms through a 50” wide holographic display. The system is able to provide intuitive interaction through wireless devices such as wand and keyboard. Collaborative design software packages are also provided to visitors, in order to experience navigation and interaction within shared virtual environments for multi-users.

Kungliga Tekniska Hoegskolan (Sweden)

The KTH Visualization Studio platform has been designed with collaborative situations in mind. In order to allow collective sense-making and digital artefact sharing, it offers, on a modular basis, video communication that supports eye contact, a holographic display, a back-projected 4k wall display with surround sound system, multi-touch surfaces, and haptic workbenches. A GPU-based multi-core computation cluster supports large-scale simulations and computations. Human motion tracking technologies and 3D input devices fulfil the range of interactions capabilities.

The installation is already involved in foundational and applied research (academic and industrial), in a range of domains including holography, numerical simulation, engineering, medicine, industrial design, computer graphics, business intelligence, information visualization, computer-supported cooperative work, human-computer interaction, multimedia and video-game production, cultural heritage, presence production, sustainable communication, and performance & the arts. KTH team has developed knowledge on technology assemblies that support novel interactions between co-located or distant users.

Ecole Centrale de Nantes (France)

COPRODEV platform provides three large RV environments. One of them is dedicated to the large volume computing results analysis, with stereo-vision and simple manipulation with joysticks and 3D mouse.

Another one is dedicated to virtual engineering and simulation applications and interactions, with stereo vision and joysticks and 3D mouse. Some tracking systems can be used in the environment for example for head and eyes tracking. The third one is dedicated to collective project review with a large size haptic device and several tracking systems for eyes, head, hands and body tracking.

The three RV rooms may be interconnected to simulate distant teams. Usual research performed on this installation deal with cognitive activity analysis, customer-product interaction, complex systems analysis, industrial archeology or safety analysis and evaluation. Partnerships with other disciplinary have been developed e.g. fluid mechanics or geographical information systems.

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft xur Foerderung der Angewandten Forschung E.V (Germany)

CVPC platform offer a five-sided cave, a two-sided holobench, head-mounted displays and PC-based Visualization System. Several haptic harms, a multi-touch table and cybergloves allow to interact with virtual representations. IPK has a strong experience in virtual product creation in a user-centered manner.

Evaluation of user interfaces, technological development of interaction devices and studies of tangible user interface has led to several publications. IPK can help visitors with specific points like: users data investigation, holographic modelsharing (with annotations and audio-video channels), implementation of interactive and gesture-based interactions.

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