The Virtual eXperiences Lab (VXLab) at RMIT University is a multi-disciplinary, virtual laboratory that connects visualisation and automation facilities, across the university and industry. It was initially developed by RMIT’s Australia-India Research Centre for Automation Software Engineering (AICAUSE) with the technical support and guidance of the eResearch Office.
Today, the lab provides a space for student experience and researcher engagement with industry, and to access advanced technology and expertise. VXLab is largely software-defined and built using off-the-shelf components and open technologies. It supports simulated components in the cloud, virtualisation and telepresence. Users can explore the collaborative experimental design, operation and testing of global cyberphysical systems. For virtual and annotated reality, the VXLab includes advanced gaming and visualization devices.
Hands-on VXLab demonstration to Wesley High School students
The VXLab facility has supported a variety of usage scenarios, including:
- Research over four years by AICAUSE staff, exploring collaborative engineering and spatial analysis, culminating in recent demonstrations with ABB, an industry partner, to publicly showcase elements such as:
- remote collaboration and training,
- utilization of the global operations visualization lab,
- utilization of platforms (such as industry robots) by globally distributed teams,
- connections to ABB’s robot lab at RMIT, and
- connecting (via a virtual private network) to the development, testing and research site of ABB’s Global Industries and Services division, in Mahadevapura, Bangalore;
- Industry 4.0-themed workshops and demonstrations, showcasing the lab facilities to industry visitors from sectors ranging across aerospace, automotive, manufacturing, virtual and augmented reality, and compliance training;
- Student capstone projects, involving software engineering, media and design students, such as:
- the development of VR presentations by student startup VicHyper.com,
- large screen visualization of experimental 2D Turing machines, and
- two CBA-sponsored projects using a REEM robot simulator;
- Student lectures with demos, including: software engineering capstone projects pitches and presentations with RMIT computer science and software engineering and industry partners, virtual and augmented reality demonstrations in Media and Communications, and nanomaterial structure in Physics using tools such as VMD and automotive design (stereoscopic 3D design visualization in CATIA).
Software Engineering Projects – CBA/REEM robotics project final presentation.