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Society/business Center for Information Technology Research and Innovation Support Virtual Reality and Visualisation

Virtual Reality portfolio

Recently published articles

Virtual job interview maps stress
Date:19 September 2022

The Psychiatry Department at the UMCG is conducting research on stress resilience, using virtual reality to properly map the impact of stress. This way you can create a stressful situation in a controlled manner.



Virtual Practicals

For the Virtual Practicals (ViP) project, our team developed
a 3D-VR application in which students can safely practice
complex laboratory skills in a virtual, yet realistic, environment.

Virtual Classroom - improving classroom managment theories

Some students following the Academic Training Teacher for Primary Education find the infant class internship to be the most difficult. However, by taking part in a virtual classroom, they can practise classroom management strategies and receive feedback straight away. A supervisor or co-student can create different kinds of classroom settings, in which the student can safely practise dealing with behavioural problems and applying academic classroom management theories.

Virtual laboratory - chemistry practical for students

Students can be a little nervous about carrying out a chemistry experiment in the fume cupboard for the very first time. However, if they can do it first in virtual reality, the practical in the real lab goes a lot better. Experiments show that practising first in virtual reality can make it considerably easier for students to apply what they have learned to the lab setting.

Mercator City - spatial design by students

Zernike Campus is becoming increasingly attractive. Students at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences are contributing to this by designing their ideal Zernike Campus in 3D. Using virtual reality, they can change roads, remove or add buildings and improve safety, without having to even pick up a shovel.

Tomb reconstruction using 3D models - archaeology

Based on photographs of the stones used to build tombs that were taken by a researcher in Greece, a supercomputer has produced 3D models of these tombs using photogrammetry. An archaeologist reconstructed the protective roof, which was made of large rocks, using a special virtual reality programme. He discovered that the form of the rocks shows that the roof was spherical – a breakthrough in research!

PleitVRIJ - virtual student court

Law students of the University of Groningen, VU Amsterdam and Utrecht University are collaborating in an innovative project that will help them to better learn how to plead legal cases. Using virtual reality, the students can meet in a virtual courtroom session. In this authentic but virtual setting, they receive feedback in real time from their co-students through a specially developed app.


Building Bounce Back - University Medical Center Groningen

Stress-resilience is important in many settings. For example, to ensure durable employability of healthcare professionals, or to improve the outcome of psychiatric disease by decreasing the vulnerability to daily stressors that could otherwise cause a relapse. A VR stress-resilience intervention, named Bounce Back (BB), has been developed, consisting of a stress-inducing VR scenario, in which users learn to apply stress-management techniques and control their stress response. The stress response and impact of the scenario is measured through questionnaires, HRV and skin conductance monitoring and cortisol swabs.

Graph2VR: Explore Linked Data in 3D - Genomics Coordination Center, UMCG/UG

Linked Data is a best practice method to share and reuse data, particularly complex knowledge graphs. Visual processing of information and structures in large graphs comes naturally to people, so the development of tools for visualising Linked Data has become a field of research interest in recent years. Virtual Reality offers way more space and possibilities to expand force-directed graphs than a 2D computer screen. We reviewed existing solutions and then created a prototype, Graph2VR, to interactively work with graphs in Virtual Reality based on the SPARQL query language.

Broeders 3D - Faculty of Arts, History, UG

‘Broeders 3D’ builds further on the latest developments in Digital Humanities and Spatial Humanities by recreating the now lost interior space of the house of the Brothers of the Common Life in Deventer in the period 1450-1500. The interactive reconstruction of two interior spaces with 3D models of original fifteenth-century books, writing tools, and furniture yields new insights into the history of religious reading and the preaching activities (collationes) by the Brothers. The 3D models of the books will be linked to the digitised copies of the Athenaeum Bibliotheek in Deventer. ‘Broeders 3D’ will offer an exciting historical field trip for students and the website is also open for public outreach activities.

Imaging Lightning with the LOFAR Radio Telescope - Kapteyn Institute, UG

In major clouds the circulation of air causes the ice-crystals in the air streams to rub against each other creating static electricity. At a certain point a spontaneous discharge occurs which we know as lightning. In spite of it being such a well-known phenomenon we still do not know how it initiates, and how it can propagate over horizontal distances of several tens of kilometers. To investigate this we use LOFAR, a radio telescope with the center near Exloo, Drenthe, and with antennas spread over Europe to make 3D movies of the development of a lightning flash. One of the challenges is to cover the many orders of magnitude in the scales of interest. A flash may last a second but to understand the dynamics we may want to see what happens on the microsecond (10-6 s) scale. It may cover a distance of 10 km but we may want to see 10 m details. All of this in 3D.

Return of the European bison to the Netherlands

In this research project is investiged in the return of the European bison to the Netherlands. GELIFES researchers use virtual reality to explore new options for organizing nature reserves. Based on 2D illustrations, the visualization team created a 3D visual space in which the European bison can be observed
walking all the way from the Białowieża forest in Poland to the Dutch dunes. 

Visualization of Crustumerium - archeaology

This project involved a 3D reconstruction of an archaeological site on a hill near Rome that used to be a city called Crustumerium. The archaeological visualization of the tombs that were discovered was key to establishing the rise and fall of this city, which capitulated to Rome in around 500 BC.

Visualization of megalithic tomb using photogrammetry - archaeology

Archaeology students are researching the oldest graves found in the Netherlands, based on a 3D reconstruction of a megalithic tomb. The visualization of the tomb was produced using photogrammetry (which maps objects using lots of photographs).

Large wave simulation - fluid dynamics

With the help of virtual reality simulations, the Reality Cube (also called CAVE) can be used to research the large waves that hit oil rigs. The Reality Cube is a semi-open cube in which we are not only able to view a 3D world but can also experience that world as though we were part of it.

Virtual workstation experiment - research into the flexible workstation

This experiment was carried out in the CAVE as part of the PhD research project ‘The psychology of the flexible workstation’. Over 200 first-year facility management students at Hanze University of Applied Sciences carried out various tasks at different workstations in virtual reality. This information was used to analyse the relationship between output, workstation features and individuals.

Geographical data

Mapping rivers and dams in Europe - World Fish Migration foundation

Barriers in European rivers are being mapped to establish which dams and weirs should be prioritized in order to restore fish migration. These barriers can be removed or adapted so that fish can migrate again, improving the ecology of the rivers.

Energy map - energy labels of buildings in Groningen

Together with the Geodienst of the CIT, the Reality Center has mapped the energy labels of all of the buildings in Groningen city centre. For the 3D buildings, we used the Current Dutch Elevation map (Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland). The 3D models of the recognizable buildings were built by the researchers.


Explainimations/MOOCs - University Medical Center Groningen

The Reality Center creates short animations to get ideas across quickly and clearly for courses on FutureLearn, an online platform for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). We also make animations to explain complicated procedures in a simple way, or to help hospital patients in their rehabilitation process.

3D Visualizations

Panorama Romantica in virtual reality - Groninger Museum

The Groninger Museum commissioned the Reality Center to design a virtual reality panorama based on a number of famous landscape paintings, including those by William Turner and Caspar David Friedrich. The visualization will be used by Arts, Culture and Media students to put together exhibitions.

Ocean Grazer - energy form waves

The Ocean Grazer harvests energy from waves in an innovative way. In recent years, many PhD students at the Faculty of Science and Engineering have carried out research into the Ocean Grazer and have worked on achieving an even more efficient design. The final version, with a base that is 60 metres in diameter and is submerged 50–100 metres under water, will convert wind and waves into usable energy.

Oral & maxillofacial surgery - 3D stereo dome projection

When reconstructing teeth, 3D models are used to prepare for the operation and to discuss the planned reconstruction with the patient.

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