Physics Club field trip to the CAVE (CAVE Automated Virtual Environment) at the Rock Island Arsenal was awesome! A group of ten students and faculty made the trip on May 5.
The CAVE is a 3-D virtual environment that is used by engineers to develop, test, and demonstrate new designs. After a presentation about its uses, we were allowed to explore the CAVE itself.
When you step into the CAVE wearing 3-D goggles, you see the virtual environment around you. Three people could view at once, but one was the "center of the universe." The view followed their motion -- if they turned or moved, the view of the environment changed accordingly. You could walk around, look over things, or around things. Pretty cool.
Last time I was at the CAVE, that was all you could do, but this time, they had gloves! The center-of-the-universe was also wearing gloves, so the motion of their hands could be detected. You could push stuff or lift stuff. In our environment, there was a stack of blocks. The Arsenal guy told us that if you pushed this particular block, the stack would fall a little, but catch itself. Needless to say, most of us preferred to knock the stack over when we were center-of-the-universe!
We had a lot of fun, and hope to go again. To quote Dr. Frank, "It was Aaaawesooome!"
1 year ago