Virtual Reality: A New Era of Simulation and Modelling

Virtual Reality: A New Era of Simulation and Modelling

Ghada Al-Hudhud (Al-Ahlyia Amman University, Amman, Jordan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-774-4.ch012
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Abstract

The chapter introduces a modern and advanced view and implementations of Virtual reality systems. Considering the VR systems as tools that can be used in order to alter the perceived information from real world and allow perceiving the information from virtual world. Virtual Reality grounds the main concepts for interactive 3D simulations. The chapter emphasizes the use of the 3D interactive simulations through virtual reality systems in order to enable designers to operationalize the theoretical concepts for empirical studies. This emphasize takes the form of presenting most recent case studies for employing the VR systems. The first emphasizes the role of realistic 3D simulation in a virtual world for the purpose of pipelining complex systems production for engineering application. This requires highly realistic simulations, which involves both realism of object appearance and object behaviour in the virtual world. The second case emphasizes the evolution from realism of virtual reality towards additional reality. Coupling interactions between virtual and real worlds is an example of using the VR system to allow human operators to interactively communicate with real robot through a VR system. The robots and the human operators are potentially at different physical places. This allows for 3D-stereoscopic robot vision to be transmitted to any or all of the users and operators at the different sites.
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Computer Visualization And Animation

Computer visualization is being thought of as a new way of how scientists evaluate and explore their data through an interactive human interface. Because of the V R evolution, advances in graphic display and high-end computing have made it possible to transform data into interactive, three-dimensional images. Hence, all the display and feedback devices that make this possible are termed Virtual Environments. Considering the various possible goals of the virtual environments, each provides easier way for scientists to interact with computers.

Interactivity was the mainstay for scientists, military, business, and entertainment.

Therefore, the advances in VR systems were also accompanied by computer visualization evolution to comply with the demand for interactivity. At this end, scientific visualization identified the imagery concept that is to transform the numerical data into images using computer graphics. Scientists can benefit from this conceptual view for compiling the enormous amount of data required in some scientific investigations. Examples of these scientific investigations are fluid dynamics, nuclear reactions, communication models or cosmic explosions.

By early 1980s, creating many of the special effects techniques for visualised data, scientific visualization moved into animation. Animation was a compelling testament of the value of a kind of imagery, 1990s. Meanwhile, animation had severe limitations. These limitations had addressed both cost and lack of interactivity. Once the animation completed changes in the data or conditions governing an experiment could not alter the responses in the imagery. In this context, VR manifests the experience of transforming the data into 3D images through various display devices. This implies building a computer-generated”virtual” world that possesses the following features: a) realism, b) immersion and c) presence. These features provides support for visualising, hearing or even touching objects inside this computer generated environment

Realism

The ever-increasing evolution in computer graphical technologies helped in the rapid change towards using 3D simulations in testing theoretical models. This is important because the lack of the realism factor in 2D simulation leads to the production of an incomplete view of the simulated world. Realism can be defined as geometrical realism and behavioural realism. The former describes to what extent the simulated world has a close appearance to the representation of the real world (Slater, Steed & Chrysanthou, 2002.). The more realistic, an object’s representation, and the more realistic views the user gets. The later implies the existence of behavioural signs that indicate interactive responses which cannot be caused by geometric realism but because of the realistic responses and behaviour.

Realism is considered to be important in order to grasp and get a reasonable sense of dimensions, spaces, and interactions in the simulated world. Therefore, for more realistic representations for objects in theoretical models and the virtual world as well as their behaviours in the simulated world, the 3D-simulation and visualisation tools are of great importance.

Immersion

The feeling of being there, that is the common description of being immersed in a virtual reality environment. The user switches all the communication channels off with the real world and receives the information from the virtual world. This feeling varies depend on the type of the VR system.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Intra-Robot Communication: Robot-robot communications

Stereoscopic View: a projection of the images sent by robots through Human-Robot communications.

Behavioural Realism: using the Virtual reality to model theoretical models supports the realism of visualized emergent behaviours inside the virtual world. These behaviours should be observer-convenient and possess high level of realism.

Pipelining Software Production: for the purpose of categorising the development processes of complex software systems. There is a high demand to the use of virtual models in producing the system as part of the production pipeline.

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