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Simulations

VR

Impressions: Assetto Corsa with the Oculus Rift DK2

With the release candidate of Assetto Corsa available on Steam Early Access, DK2 support heading to iRacing in the next week or two, and Project Cars (again with DK2 support) due in late November, Christmas is arriving early for sim racers. Read on for our impressions of Assetto Corsa with the Oculus Rift DK2 after putting in a few laps of Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in the P4/5 Competizione.Read More

3D Printing

LLNL improving the efficiency of 3D metal printing

To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, there was a time when 3D metal printing was like a dog walking on his hind legs – it wasn't done well; but you were surprised to find it done at all. Now that laser sintering or Selective Laser Melting (SLM) is used for everything from printing rocket engine components to semi-automatic pistols, the time for surprise may b long past, but the technology still has plenty of room for improvement. That's why researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) are working on simulations to improve the speed of 3D laser printing and the quality of the final product by using higher-powered lasers.Read More

Space

Illustris computer simulation creates the first realistic virtual universe

As you might expect, the scale and complexities of the underlying physics means creating a realistic virtual universe would require some hefty computing power. A team of astronomers is claiming to have achieved this impressive feat using a computer simulation called "Illustris," which took five years to program and, for the first time, can recreate the evolution of the Universe in high fidelity.Read More

VR

US Army examining next-gen augmented reality "live synthetic" simulations

Modern warfare is sometimes compared to a video game, but within ten years combat training may become the most realistic video game imaginable. The US Army’s Future Holistic Training Environment Live Synthetic program is a new approach to combat training that integrates various simulations into a single, remotely accessible system. Used on bases across the country, its goal is to provide the Pentagon with a cheaper, more effective way of training soldiers for future military operations.Read More

Science

Computer simulation casts new light on the ancient Roman Campus Martius mystery

Campus Martius, also known as the Campus of Mars, was built by the Roman Senate just outside the ancient Rome city walls back in 9 BCE. It was built to celebrate the peace brought upon the Roman people as a result of Emperor Agustus’s military conquests. Thanks to a complex computer simulation created by the Institute for Digital Intermedia Arts (IDIA) for Indiana University's School of Informatics and Computing, it is now possible to verify if and how solar alignments influenced the positioning of the different objects on site.Read More

Science

Distant quasar lights up cosmic web like a neon sign

That the Universe is largely composed of a cosmic web consisting of narrow filaments upon which galaxies and intergalactic gas and dust are concentrated has been known for more than a decade. While a great deal of evidence for this has accumulated, visual evidence has been difficult to find. Astronomers have now photographed what appears to be a segment of a cosmic filament stimulated into fluorescence by irradiation from a nearby quasar. Read More

VR

"Virtual reality hands" mind-control therapy for stroke patients

Earlier this year, we saw an amazing demonstration of an EEG skullcap interface that allowed a quadcopter to be controlled with only thoughts. Now the same technology is pioneering a medical therapy in which stroke patients can use their thoughts to guide a simulation, and thus rebuild damaged neurons. As the “virtual reality hands” provide customization and direct feedback of one’s progress, this could be an improvement over traditional therapy methods.Read More

Robotics

DARPA challenges virtual robots before the real ones step in

Teams vying for a spot in the historic DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) must first prove themselves in the Virtual Robotics Challenge (VRC) later this month. The VRC digitally simulates the physical challenges slated to take place at the tail end of the year, where real robots will get down and dirty for the first time. A total of 26 teams qualified to take part in the VRC, but only eight of them will earn the privilege of working with their very own ATLAS humanoid. Others will participate with their own unique robots.Read More

Good Thinking

FIU unveils mother of all wind machines

Seven years after constructing its initial prototype, Florida International University has lifted the lid from its latest and greatest machine: a 15-foot (4.6-m) tall Wall of Wind capable of generating 157-mph (70-m/s) winds. As such the machine is capable of simulating top-tier category five hurricanes according to the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale.Read More

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