Published work related to VOS

Peter Amstutz and Andrew H. Fagg: Real Time Visualization of Robot State with Mobile Virtual Reality.

Proceedings of the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), May, 2002.

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Abstract: With the deployment of large, distributed networks of cameras and other sensors, it is becoming necessary to also address the issue of how to effectively present the large volume of gathered information to a user. One possible approach to this problem is to summarize the information gathered by these sensors using a three-dimensional, virtual environment which enables a user to engage her own natural abilities to absorb the spatial information inherent in the data streams. Tasks that require a user to have access to this information while in the field (e.g., search and rescue) point toward portable solutions to this problem. This paper presents a virtual/augmented reality architecture that has explicitly been designed for use with a fully-portable, wearable computing system. A critical component of this system is a network-based mechanism for the representation of virtual objects and the live communication of changes in their state to users located elsewhere on the network. By presenting virtual objects in a uniform manner over the network, it becomes possible to easily construct new dynamic, virtual environments that reflect the state of robots or humans within the real environment. We demonstrate the utility of the architecture through several robot and human tracking examples.

Peter Amstutz and Reed Hedges: The Virtual Object System: An Open Platform for Internet Multiuser Virtual Reality.

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[not yet published, presently seeking a conference to be submitted to]
Abstract: Interactive Virtual Reality (VR) on the Internet has been a dream long promised, but despite a great deal of work few technologies today fulfill this promise and none are in wide use. Previous efforts have been unavailable to the public, floundered as academic prototypes, or focused too much on the graphical aspects of the problem --- ignoring the true challenge of designing a robust infrastructure on which virtual environments may be built. This paper considers the factors that must be taken into account when designing a multiuser virtual reality system, and then presents the Virtual Object System (VOS), an open infrastructure designed to support networks of distributed, collaboratively built virtual worlds. VOS is a message-passing core concerned with the management of ``vobjects''. Vobjects are network-accessible objects organized with incoming and outgoing hyperlinks to other vobjects which form dynamic network-spanning structures. individual vobjects may be extended on the fly to support new object types, allowing a single vobject to support several different interfaces. This infrastructure has been used to implement the Abstract 3D Layer (A3DL), a set of object types for describing 3D scenes. A rendering application realizes these worlds on the screen, allowing a user to join, move about in and interact with a world and its contents (including other users). VOS has been successfully used for several nontrivial projects including an immersive interface for monitoring and operating mobile robots at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Peter Amstutz: An Introduction to the Virtual Object System

Posted on, May 5, 2002: