operation of turning a knob a slider, pressing a button, adjusting a slider and making
a connection to a terminal can be done through simply dragging the mouse to move
the relevant control when the control is in focus.
The main functions and features of the experiment and laboratory can be summarized as
A 3D virtual laboratory controlling actual instruments and displaying real signals
is implemented through a dynamic virtual scene in Java 3D. The laboratory has an
oscilloscope, a signal generator, a battery, a circuit, a few cables, and some other
A navigation tool for walking around the virtual laboratory has been custom designed.
Shown in Figure 6, the tool allows the user to move around the virtual laboratory
and view instruments from different positions and directions in a very user friendly
manner through the mouse.
A collision detection mechanism is implemented. This guarantees that the viewing
platform will not traverse any solid objects such as walls, doors, windows, tables,
and virtual instruments.
Through the appropriate picking function, the user can adjust individual controls on
the virtual instruments and connect circuits in the same way as he or she operates
an actual instrument in the real laboratory.
The adjusted controls are converted into the relevant commands and sent to the in-
strument control server for implementation by real instruments in the actual physical
laboratory. The result of the experiment is sent back by the server to the client to be
displayed in the 3D virtual laboratory in real time.
A lively outdoor scene with an island and a flying plane through the window of the
virtual laboratory gives a good and realistic feeling of being in a real laboratory.
Bund, S., & Do, E. Y. (2005). SPOT! fetch light: interactive Interactive navigable 3D vi-
sualization of direct sunlight. Automation in Construction , 14 , 181-188.
Hobona, K., James, P., & Fairbairn, D. (2006). Web-based visualization of 3D geospatial
data using Java3D. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 26 , 28-33.
Search WWH ::