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University of Salford - Centre for Virtual Environments

Overview:
The Centre for Virtual Environments (CVE) was established by the University of Salford to execute a focused programme of research, teaching and technology transfer activities to support the effective introduction of virtual environments and simulation technologies into industry to improve competitiveness.

Specialized in:
The CVE has a well established track record in virtual environments, virtual agents, constraint-based assembly modelling, physically based modelling, and haptic interface and auditory simulation.

In addition, research into Augmented or Mixed Reality systems has also commenced, seeking to combine real time volumetric Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT) datasets with video images of the patient undergoing procedures.

Description:
The initial funding for the CVE was received from the UK's EPSRC in 1994 and further funding was received from the University of Salford in 1997 to strengthen its capabilities. Recently, the CVE was successful in securing a 1,67m JREI grant (3m including industrial contribution) in collaboration with UMIST, University of Manchester and the Metropolitan University of Manchester to set up distributed Virtual Environment facilities within the Manchester region.

These distributed Virtual Environment facilities link the four Universities via G-MING, which is an ATM (155Mbps) network. The CVE has access to a CAVE (four active surfaces), Reality Room and Immersive Workbench, all capable of concurrent operation and coupled to a powerful SGI Onyx2 rack system. This installation is unique in the UK and affords unique opportunities to support collaborative research and working.

The CVE team presently comprises four academic staff, 15 Research Assistants and Research Students.

Products, projects and services

    Professor Nick J. Avis, the academic director of the Centre for Virtual Environments, is interested in research related to medical applications of Virtual Environments. He has been involved in projects concerning the development of surgical simulators, such as the Virtual Environment Knee Arthroscopy Training System (VEKATS), and the biomechanical modelling of the knee joint whilst at the University of Hull where he organised and chaired the BCS International Conference in Interactive Technologies in Medicine and Surgery.

    This work is continuing in collaboration with the University of Sheffield to investigate soft tissue models with the support of an EPSRC Health Informatics grant.

Contact information:
University of Salford - Centre for Virtual Environments
Professor Nick Avis
Business House, University Road
M5 4WT Salford, United Kingdom
Tel.: +44-161-2952916
Fax: +44-161-2952925
E-mail: N.J.Avis@iti.salford.ac.uk

Last update:
Salford, Wednesday 27th October 1999