Virtual Reality for Sport and Research

Virtual Reality for Sport and Research

If Australia makes you think only of kangaroos and of “Men at Work” you’re reading the wrong article, or maybe the right one to find out how the land “down under” since 1987 is the organizing country of World Solar Challenge (Wsc), the unique competition that takes place every two years from Darwin on the north coast to Adelaide on the south coast, 3,021 kilometers away. A considerable distance, especially for a race involving vehicles driven solely by solar energy, “probably the most efficient electric cars in the world” as stated in the website of the event (the images you see in the article are courtesy of the University of Toronto and the World Solar Challenge).

B7 World Solar Challanges virtual realityWhat an Australian race of solar cars (whose next edition will take place in October 2015) has got to do with virtual reality? It is because, after having hit a fifth place finish in the 2007 edition, the Blue Sky Solar Racing of Toronto University has designed and built a solar-powered vehicle for the 2013 edition, called “B-7”, taking into account the specific constraints imposed by the organization and two in particular: the mandatory use of four-wheel and vertical seat for the driver. To achieve it, the students (fifty in all) were divided into several working groups: aerodynamics, chassis, roll bar, suspension, electrical and solar arrays. In this situation, team coordination and speed of interaction were key issues.

They must also be resolved some inefficiencies that already exist, such as the inability to test virtually the project prior to construction and the need to validate and exchange files between two different CAD. To overcome these obstacles students, on the advice of Aventec, the leading Canadian supplier of technology and services in the field of PLM, opted for the 3Dexperience for Academia platform of Dassault Systemes, using three software, Catia for virtual designing, Delmia for digital manufacturing and Simulia for realistic simulation, able to work efficiently and to preview the performance of the project, which was then awarded the eighth (second among North American competitors) covering the route from Darwin to Adelaide in 45 hours and 38 minutes at an average speed of 65.7 kilometers per hour.

Night Train 2Dassault Systemes name is not new to readers, nor sports undertakings: the U.S. four-men bob team , that in the recent Olympic Games in Sochi won the bronze medal, has in fact used the Dassault Systemes Solidworks sofware to design and test Night Train 2, the new model used in bob race, heir to Night Train wich in 2010 he won the Olympic gold in Vancouver, while in the last edition of America’s Cup, Oracle team won thanks to the changes made ​​possible in a few hours thanks again to the 3Dexperience platform, of the vessel, carbon and conducting boat.

But in addition to sports applications of virtual reality software in the French group ranging from 3D reconstruction of the monuments of Giza to those of the most famous places in Paris, while in 2015 the hills around Sheffield and Rotherham will be dominated by a sculpture of a man of steel 30 meters high to realize whom was used once again to the 3D technology of the French group (used to develop the exact 3D replica of a digital bronze casting made ​​from the original, made ​​by the artist Steve Mehdi with ribbon wrapping).

Virtual worlds and virtual reality used for professional purposes, from sports to tourism, from art to education, therefore, evidence of the continuing development of a sector that can not and should not be confined only to video games or put in relation to only one or a few platforms. Also for this reason we recommend that you continue to follow us as well on this website, through our fanpage on Facebook or our Twitter account, so to be informed on the latest news.

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