Distributed Virtual Reality

Document created by Valerie Lehner
Last updated: September 17, 1996


The first implementation of Caterpillar's Distributed Virtual Reality (DVR) System has been completed and tested between three virtual reality systems at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. Participants shared a virtual environment and communicated using digitized audio and video. The system has been designed for use over a trans-Atlantic ATM link so that Caterpillar engineers from geographically remote locations can collaborate in designing Caterpillar products.

Participants saw the videos of the other participants integrated with the virtual environment. For example, when an engineer's viewpoint was behind the vehicle fender, the video image was rendered behind the fender, as seen from the local site.

All sites see the vehicle move as it is driven by the engineer at a remote site.

In this initial test phase, a local ethernet was used for the network. The quality of audio, video, and interactive response was very good, allowing natural communication between participants. In this snapshot, the local site looks into the service bay as participants at 2 remote sites discuss visibility issues.

View from the cab of the front-end loader.

Project Information

The Distributed Virtual Reality project is supported by Caterpillar in Belgium and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in the U.S. It is a part of the Distributed Video Production project, sponsored by the European Union as ACTS project AC089. This document has been prepared for Deliverable 4.4.3 of the project.

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Document Author

Valerie Lehner