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The Virtual Vision Lab: A Simulated/Real Environment For Interactive Education

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Conference

1996 Annual Conference

Location

Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996

ISSN

2153-5965

Page Count

7

Page Numbers

1.486.1 - 1.486.7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/6392

Download Count

11

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Paper Authors

author page

T. N. Jones

author page

P. K. Allen

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P. A. McCoog

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J. P. Crosby

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

Session 1626

The Virtual Vision Lab: A Simulated/Real Environment for Interactive Education in Robot Vision *

P. K. Allen, T. N. Jones, J. P. Crosby, P. A. McCoog Department of Computer Science, Columbia University, NY, NY 10027

Abstract

The Virtual Vision Lab (VVL) is a project aimed at producing instructional lab modules for new and emerging techniques in robotic vision. VVL uses an integrated multi-media presentation format that allows the student to learn about robot vision techniques from textual sources, runtime algorithm codes, live and canned digital imagery, interactive modification of program parameters and insertion of student developed code for certain parts of the tutorial. It aims to translate a research paper in robot vision into a usable and understandable laboratory exercise that highlights the important aspects of the research in a realistic environment that combines both simulated virtual components and real camera imagery. The task the tutorial uses to demonstrate some basic principles of robotics and computer vision is the “pick and place task” which is implemented using a movable robot mounted camera that produces stereo imagery inside a robotic workcell.

1 Introduction The Virtual Vision Lab (VVL) is a project funded by the National Science Foundation Combined Research- Curriculum Development program (CRCD) aimed at producing instructional lab modules for new and emerging techniques in robotic vision. VVL uses an integrated multi-media presentation format that allows the student to learn about robot vision techniques from textual sources, runtime algorithm codes, live and canned digital imagery, interactive modification of program parameters and insertion of student developed code for certain parts of the tutorial. It aims to translate a research paper in robot vision into a usable and understandable laboratory exercise that highlights the important aspects of the research in a realistic environment that combines both simulated virtual components and real camera imagery. To properly understand the use of robot vision algorithms, one should use a real robotics workcell. Due to the complexity, fragileness, and expense of actual robotic equipment, there are usually no hands-on resources available to undergraduate students that would allow them to test topics they learn in class. However, simulations can create a realistic robotic vision lab that is accessible to students. Our approach was to very accurately model our own robotics lab and translate it into a set of 3-D solid models that could be manipulated and moved as in a real workcell. All movement in the workspace is shown with animation, along with a simulated image from a robot mounted camera. A viewing window is constantly updated as the robot is moved, and the student can interactively modify the 3-D display of the workcell to vary the viewpoint and scaling. The animation and simulated camera output give the user a sense of realism and comfort that greatly enhances the lab modules. The lab also includes textual tutorials and interactive control of algorithms to allow the student to modify results and experiment with new ideas. This is further evidence of the merging of graphics and vision as inverse problems that can be seen to be duals of each other, which has important ramifications in engineering and education. Virtual environments may well be made available to students in the future that replicate costly engineering labs, allowing access to these environments by a much larger audience. Using both virtual environments and internet access, future engineering students may be able to access a variety of labs across the country interactively without leaving their own home institution.

*This work has been funded by NSF grant EEC-93-15517

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Jones, T. N., & Allen, P. K., & McCoog, P. A., & Crosby, J. P. (1996, June), The Virtual Vision Lab: A Simulated/Real Environment For Interactive Education Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia. https://peer.asee.org/6392

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