The RoboCup Mixed Reality League – A Case Study
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In typical mixed reality systems there is only a one-way interaction from real to virtual. A human user or the physics of a real object may influence the behavior of virtual objects, but real objects usually cannot be influenced by the virtual world. By introducing real robots into the mixed reality system, we allow a true two-way interaction between virtual and real worlds. Our system has been used since 2007 to implement the RoboCup mixed reality soccer games and other applications for research and edutainment. Our framework system is freely programmable to generate any virtual environment, which may then be further supplemented with virtual and real objects. The system allows for control of any real object based on differential drive robots. The robots may be adapted for different applications, e.g., with markers for identification or with covers to change shape and appearance. They may also be “equipped” with virtual tools. In this chapter we present the hardware and software architecture of our system and some applications. The authors believe this can be seen as a first implementation of Ivan Sutherland’s 1965 idea of the ultimate display: “The ultimate display would, of course, be a room within which the computer can control the existence of matter …” (Sutherland, 1965, Proceedings of IFIPS Congress 2:506–508).
KeywordsMixed systems Robotics RoboCup Physical control
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