Mounting human entities to control and interact with networked ship entities in a virtual environment
Stewart, Bryan Christopher
Zyda, Michael J.
Falby, John S.
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This thesis research addresses the problem of mounting human entities to other non-human entities in the virtual environment. Previous human entities were exercised as individual entities in the virtual environment. Yet there are many applications (i.e. shipboard damage control, amphibious landings, helicopter vertical assaults) where human entities need to mount other vehicles within the virtual environment. The approach taken was to re-engineer the Naval Postgraduate School's Shiphandling Training Simulator (SHIPSIM) and Damage Control Virtual Environment Trainer (DC VET) onto a common virtual environment system (NPSNET). Using a modified potentially visible set algorithm, a ship hydrodynamics model, and a simple data PDU network packet, NPSNET human entities were given the capability to mount ship vehicles. Additionally, a control panel and voice recognition were added to allow the human entities to control and maneuver the ship vehicles in the virtual environment. As a result of this thesis, NPSNET human entities can mount ship vehicles, move about the ship, and interact with the ship's internal objects (i.e doors, valves, etc.) all while the ship moves within the virtual environment. This technology opens a new paradigm for simulation designers, where users of virtual environment systems can participate as human entities and interact (i.e. mount, control, and maneuver) with other inanimate vehicles as we do in the real world.
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