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Crcd: Low Power Wireless Communications For Virtual Environments Course Integration

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Virtual & Distance Experiments

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.334.1 - 8.334.11



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Paper Authors

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Robert Weber

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Bernard Lwakabamba

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Julie Dickerson

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Carolina Cruz-neira

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Diane Rover

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2426

CRCD: Low-Power Wireless Communications for Virtual Environments-Course Integration

Julie A. Dickerson, Diane T. Rover, Carolina Cruz-Neira, Robert J. Weber, Eric Eekhoff, Bernard Lwakabamba, Feng Chen, and Zheng Min

Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 50011

I. Project Overview

This project combines research from the areas of wireless communications, low-power embedded systems, virtual environments, and human factors in an interdisciplinary program. Education in the hardware and software of virtual reality (VR) systems serves as a test-bed for training engineers in a truly interdisciplinary environment. The ultimate goal of this project is to create a set of integrated courses that cover real-time software, embedded systems, design of virtual environments, and design of practical wireless devices. The research part uses the C6, a three- dimensional, full-immersion, synthetic environment in the Virtual Reality Applications Center (VRAC) at Iowa State. The research goal is to design and implement low power wireless communications systems for wearable sensor networks in virtual environments.

In order to integrate across a range of classes from communications system to software engineering, we have introduced the concept of a central design document. The purpose of the central design document is to introduce students in diverse disciplines to the problem to be solved. The many sub-topics of this research provides an ideal case study and design projects for students from embedded system, wireless communication, VLSI design, and real-time software courses. A full understanding of the current system and the requirements of the new system is crucial for performing the research. The design document describes the characteristics of the current system, analyzes the requirements for wireless systems in VR, and specifies problems that need to be addressed.

The design document concept is being tested for the communications systems laboratory and in a course on user interactions for virtual environments. The central design document defines the system and its requirements for the students. Supplementary documents, one on the requirements for the wireless system and one on the software engineering, give more specific information about the virtual environment.

Previous activities New laboratory experiments were added to existing courses in communications to enforce the concepts of hardware/software co-design and human factors issues1-3. One example of these first experiments is a lab exercise for the communications course that characterizes the complex electromagnetic environment inside the C6 virtual environment that contains multiple types of

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Weber, R., & Lwakabamba, B., & Dickerson, J., & Cruz-neira, C., & Rover, D. (2003, June), Crcd: Low Power Wireless Communications For Virtual Environments Course Integration Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12223

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