Datalan

Technical University in Zvolen
Virtual Cave

The University Auditorium for Science and Experimentation (HVEP) with its laboratory centres is intended for professional training of students at the highest level. It also includes a “Virtual Cave”, the only one of its kind in Central Europe.

Facts
DATALAN handled project design, supply, implementation and servicing of information-communication technologies, including telecommunications and audio-visual technology. We also provided comprehensive project infrastructure at HVEP, with wiring; optical, metallic, VGA and audio cables and interconnections; control room installations and equipment; rendering and steering computers and consoles; special graphic stations for 3D-display in classrooms and for exercises involving graphics, including software equipment and also coordination of work. A unique workplace was created from EU resources through the European Regional Development Fund.

Solution
Virtual Cave allows objects and situations to be modelled, simulated and visualised in the form of interactive virtual reality. Students can examine, for instance, simulated rural environmental impact over 20 years or test their proposals in practice. The cave has the shape of a 3x3x3 meter cube and has five design areas – the walls inside the cube, including the floor. 14 projectors are used for projection and the display cluster consists of 8 computers.

In addition to the Virtual Cave, a workplace for 3D visualisation was also created, where 3D data projectors, scanners, displays and associated software equipment are located. The prototyping laboratory contains a 3D printer for three dimensional objects. Students can design and produce various components, articles and other three dimensional objects, and also test their functionality in real life situations. Integration of various 3D technologies beings students such as constructors and 3D data processing specialists together along with designers, teachers, and researchers with real experience.

Benefits
- Significant increase in competitiveness in terms of study conditions at a Slovak university
- Virtual reality in practice, where design students can simulate spaces they want to fit with the suggested furniture, forest planners may look at how a forest will look in 20 years, etc.
- Benefits of 3D prototyping – the option of designing and directly constructing various structures and testing their properties and functionality in real world situations
- Equipment and the department’s capacity to lend the virtual cave to other universities, their faculties and various science and research institutes as well as professional workplaces


Establishing these unique, cutting edge work areas in Slovakia is an important prerequisite to accomplishing our ambition to be an important entity in domestic and international educational and research, and thus meet the mission of the Technical University in Zvolen to nurture professionals to be successful in the labour market, as well as ensuring progress in research covering areas that the university sees as a priority.

Prof Ing Rudolf KROPIL, PhD
Rector

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