June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
Computers in Education
12.781.1 - 12.781.10
Gesture-Based Interactive Beam Bending Exercises: An Interactive and Intuitive Tool for Students
Immersion and interactive experience are introduced into a Solid Mechanics beam bending lab exercise by utilizing gesture-based analysis that is inexpensive, utilizes off-the-shelf cameras, and is highly portable for ease of use in the classroom. A cantilever I-beam is rendered in virtual reality (VR) and a user’s gestures are captured and interpreted in real-time to allow for natural interaction with the beam. Users can bend the I-beam with up to three degrees-of-freedom, via mechanics governed by well-known elastic beam theory. This approach evokes a more immersive feeling in students, the intended users of the application, keeping them more engaged in the exercise. A simple web camera captures hand motion and algorithms interpret various gestures in real-time. For instance, simply by moving their hand up/down or left/right, seeming to “grab” and push or pull the end of the beam, students can intuitively vary input parameters such as load or displacements to the free end of a cantilever beam. Feedback, such as axial stress distributions, is displayed in real time. This approach provides a supplementary tool that is much more current with the state of the art for learning tools and provides for the need to keep students engaged and interested in various exercises, while still delivering many of the pertinent concepts found in lecture-based engineering courses. Results are discussed from student engagement in supplementary exercises to a traditional sophomore-level undergraduate Solid Mechanics course. Future improvements to the current application are discussed.
The Aerospace Engineering degree program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is a comparatively standard four-year engineering program, much like engineering programs offered at numerous other universities throughout the United States. Much of the freshman year consists of courses in calculus, physics, and composition, the sophomore year includes courses in mechanics, the junior year provides depth in the particular engineering discipline, and much of the senior year revolves around the senior design project. While the Aerospace Engineering department has been active in increasing design and laboratory content throughout the curriculum, certain courses have changed little over the many years they have been taught. Solid Mechanics is one of these courses.
Solid Mechanics, typically taken during the second semester of the sophomore year by engineering students, has been taught to aspiring mechanical, civil, and aerospace engineers for numerous decades, and the course content has changed little over that period of time. Solid Mechanics may be considered the first course in engineering structures (perhaps this could be argued, depending on how one views the prerequisite course Statics), and involves computing the stresses and strains in rods, shafts, beams, columns, and other simple structures. One of the authors took such a class as an engineering student at a different university and used the well- known text Mechanics of Materials by Gere and Timoshenko1. Now the author teaches the same class with the sixth edition of the same text2.
El Doker, T., & Lanning, D., & Gigliotti, J. (2007, June), Gesture Based Interactive Beam Bending Exercises: An Interactive And Intuitive Tool For Students Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2655
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