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Macquarie University (MQ) was the only New South Wales university to receive a rating of 5 out of 5 for research in physical sciences. It provides an above world standard research environment for research in physical sciences.
Some of our projects at the Simulation Hub align strategically with Language, communication and culture research at MQ and ranked ‘above world standard’ with a ranking of 4 in communication and media studies sub-discipline in the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) 2012 assessment.
The Department of Computing, Macquarie University (MQ) has a growing commitment to Interactivity and Simulation Design and recently established a Simulation Hub as well as a BIT degree in Game Design. MQ has a dedicated Virtual Reality (VR) Lab at the Simulation Hub with the equipment, hardware, and software required for VR research, previously established by A/Prof Manolya Kavakli in 2003. VISOR has been performing research in VR for the last 12 years. The first VR Lab was shifted to Simulation Hub in January 2015, has been operational from February 2015.
Simulation Hub has cutting edge technologies to be shared by various departments and installed a 10m wide 240degree cylindrical fully immersive laser projection system at the new VR Lab. It is expected that Simulation Hub will foster collaboration both within and outside the University. The facility contains the VR lab, the motion capture lab, three driving simulators, and a flight simulator.
The new VR Lab is the home for VISOR (Virtual and Interactive Simulations of Reality) Research Group as well as CEPET (Centre for Elite Performance, Expertise, and Training) which has an evolving history of ongoing interdisciplinary research collaboration between the Departments of Computing and Psychology. CEPET was established in 2011 to support leading-edge research into the cognitive, motor, social, and emotional processes by which individuals acquire elite levels of expertise and performance skill. A/Prof Kavakli is an associate member of CEPET .
This research infrastructure provides excellent resources for cutting-edge research projects. In most cases, within a scene of this sort, viewers will be mildly disorientated, feel slightly off balance, and may experience vertigo or motion sickness, as a result of conflicting senses. Seeing and hearing but not feeling inertia. This has many implications from a research point of view.
First VR Lab (Our Pre-Loved History)
In 2003, A/Prof Manolya Kavakli established the first VR Lab at the Department of Computing. The Virtual Reality Lab at Macquarie University, building E6A room 266, provided resources for projects and experiments in a multitude of areas, most significantly, projects and experiments that relied or benefited from sensory immersion. Other projects utilised equipment in the field of motion capture, such as the motion capture suit and the face tracking camera, for movement analysis, behavioural biometrics, and the animation of graphical avatars.
To achieve a high level of immersion we used a curved front projection screen (similar to a CAVE implementation), filling 160 degrees of the viewers peripheral vision, and project onto the canvas in active stereo (frame sequential stereo) to simulate depth in the 3D virtual environment. This immersive sensation was built upon with other features such as 3D positional audio, and a cyber glove input device, surprisingly increasing the immersion more than might be expected. First VR lab made used of a PC cluster synchronised to display an animated scene.
The VISOR group make use of an assortment of equipment and tools, from immersive VR to motion capture devices, and as a team the group contributes experienced personnel to ensure this equipment is used with high productivity.
- Panoramic projection system, Quadroplex PC, active stereo 3D.
- Gypsy 4 motion capture suit.
- X-IST Face tracking camera.
- 5DT Data Gloves
- Triple head panoramic display, single workstation, monocular.
- Visor HMD. Head mounted display.
- Intersense Intertiacube2 3D positional tracking device.
Arrangements can be made for both internal and external hire. Please Contact the VISOR group for information and expenses. These services are provided as a means to boost maintenance of the VR facilities.