ARLab students at VREP Showcase


ARLab students participated in the VREP showcase in Des Moines on Thursday, April 16th, 2015.

David, Jarid, Tim, and Minh (from left to right) in front of their AR demo application.


 The students presented an AR application that explains the assembly procedure of a 3D-printed turbine model.


VREP stands for Virtual Reality Education Program. It is an educational program committed to bringing a new kind of learning and teaching to middle schools and high schools by capturing students’ interest through the use of Virtual Reality and 3D; visit for further information.

The VREP showcase is an annual event for middle schools and high schools students. The purpose is to encourage students towards an education in virtual reality, computer animation, and related fields. Colleges from across Iowa demonstrate their work and explain possible career paths. The event offers several courses and working groups in which the students can strengthen their knowledge in, for instance, modeling and animation techniques. The showcase also offers opportunities for students, who are already part of the VREP program, to present their work and to talk to the next generation of 3D modelers and computer animators to share their experience.

David, Jarid, Minh, and Tim, students from the ARLab, attended the VREP Showcase to demonstrate and explain augmented reality technology and computer vision-based object tracking. They prepared an AR application that explains the assembly procedure of a jet turbine model using animated 3D models. The AR application utilized the latest research in 3D point cloud tracking which facilitates tracking of the turbine without any visible markers. A Kinect camera was used to capture point clouds, and an animation on a computer display explained the turbine assembly.


David, Jarid, and Minh introduced the technology AR in their talk, along with object tracking basics.

The VREP showcase meeting room during the presentation.

In addition to the demo, three of the students had the opportunity to present their work to a larger audience. Approximately 100 middle schools and high school students followed the presentation in which David introduced the concepts of AR, 3D object tracking, along with its use-case for assembly assistance. The audience learned how cameras such as the Kinect or the Structured Sensor, the images they provide in particular, can be used to find and track physical objects in the real world. David, himself a VREP alumni, also closed the loop, explaining how VREP helped him to leverage his knowledge in 3D modeling and programming. Jarid and Minh complemented his presentation by linking their university majors to their work as research assistants. Thus the audience learned how their university education helps them to accomplish difficult tasks such as computer vision-based tracking.

In summary, the VREP Showcase was a successful event which could hopefully encourage many kids to consider computer graphics, 3D models, animations, etc. as a part of their future career path. We are glad that we had the opportunity to contribute to this event.



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The Augmented Reality Lab explores the augmented reality (AR) technology and its capabilities for engineering applications.

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