ActiveCubeActiveCubeActiveCube
A Real-time and Bi-directional Interface for Constructing and Interacting with a 3D Environment

Abstract

real-time interaction & 3D-Modeling & Bi-directional Interface ActiveCube is a novel device that allows a user to construct and interact with a 3D environment by using actual physical cubes with a bi-directional user interface. A computer recognizes the 3D structure of connected cubes in real time by utilizing the real-time communication network among cubes. Also, ActiveCube is equipped with both input and output devices, at where the user expects to be, and this makes the interface intuitive and helps to clarify the causal relationship between the input of the user's operational intention and the output of simulated results. Consistency is always maintained between the real object and its corresponding representation in the computer in terms of object shape and functionalities.

ActiveCube PictureWith this flexible interface, the user can easily construct various 3-D structures in a virtual environment by simply combining the cubes. All of the faces of the cubes are the same and can be connected to any face of any other cube. A computer recognizes the constructed 3-D structure in real-time, so consistency is always maintained between the real environment and its corresponding representation in a virtual environment.

Each cube is equipped with a processor for autonomous simulation and communication functions between cubes. A cube also utilizes a sensor for detecting the operational intention of the user and/or a display/actuator used as an output channel. Users can interact with ActiveCube in various ways by using the sensors, and the response to the interaction is also shown by displays/actuators installed on the cube. Each ActiveCube is equipped with both input and output devices, which makes the interface intuitive and helps to clarify the causal relationship between the input of the user's operational intention and the output of simulated results.


Future Work Several future directions of application are made possible by utilizing the features of ActiveCube. We imagine that possible applications could include educational experiences for children, learning how to assemble real and virtual objects, edutainment, new types of toys, training to increase skills and speed in assembling objects for persons working in real/virtual environments, and perhaps artistic applications that support a person's creativity.

Demonstration

"Demonstration Movie of ActiveCube" "TSU.MI.KI"
ActiveCube is a novel user interface which allows intuitive interaction with computers. ActiveCube allows users to construct and interact with 3D environments using physical cubes equipped with various input and output devices. TSU.MI.KI consists of a set of computerized blocks equipped with several input and output devices. Children can tangibly interact with a virtual scenario by manipulating and constructing structures from the physical blocks, and by using input and output devices that are integrated into the blocks.

"Cognitive Cubes" "3D Shape Retrieval"
Cognitive Cubes is a computerized tool for 3D constructional assessment that increases consistency and promises improvements in flexibility, reliability, sensitivity and control. The system provides a consistent diagnosis by using a 3D shape construction task. This is a method for interactive retrieval of 3D shapes using physical blocks. As the user connects blocks, the system automatically recognizes the shape of the constructed physical structure and picks similar 3D shape models from a preset model database, in real time.

"3D Modeling with AR" "MADO Interface"
This is a 3D Modeling system with Augmented Reality technology. In this system, the user can divide and combine 3D models by disconnecting and connecting physical blocks. So, the user can create new models from existing ones in the database intuitively. "MADO" means "window" in Japanese. MADO Interface is utilized as the real window to look into and manipulate the virtual world. By connecting MADO Interface to the physical object, users can watch the virtual model corresponding to the physical object.

Major Publications (Japanese articles are listed in Japanese)

[English] [Japanese]

Other Activities

Partners

Contact us

ActiveCube Research Group in Osaka University



Other research projects in Osaka University Human Interface Engineering Lab.