Philips Assignment


Project requirements: 2 weeks, 7 students (14 oktober 2011 - 5 november 2011), roughly 480 man hours

The overall aim is to visualize 2 hospital settings in which the user can freely walk around. It should be life-size to give an impression of really 'being there'. This will serve as a start of an initiative of Philips Innovation Services to give interested parties a possibility to view their healthcare setting virtually very early in the life-cycle. The hypothesis is that using Virtual Reality will greatly enhance the experience for interested parties and will help in realizing sales.

One setting is an exam room with an MRI machine and one accompanying control room.

The second is an operating room with a C-arch (xray) over an operating table and a control room. The main focus is to be able to observe and interact with the exam room. It would be an enhancement if the control room is also accessible, via the doors.

Philips MRI Scanner in the Cave


  • the six students from Fontys, in this text named 'students'
  • the representatives from Philips Innovation Services (i.e. Hugo Habets & Victor Vloemans) , in this text named 'customers'
  • the teachers of Fontys Hogeschool (e.g. Sjaak Verwaaijen), in this text named 'teachers'.



The customers will visit the students once per week during the project. Also, a kick-off meeting for the start of the project and an evaluation session will be held. Remaining communication needs will be filled via email and telephone. If necessary more visits from the customers to the students can be facilitated.

Part of the delivery of the project will be a small report describing the current setup. Main focus are the technical implementation choices and an high-level description of the technical components



  • The customers will supply the students with the 3d models (in 3d studio file format, .3ds) needed to visualize both hospital settings. These files contain the overall room structure, windows and doors. The size is a qualitative aspect, the zoom ratio needed to make it life-size will be determined by the students. Light sources are free for the interpretations of the students.
  • The teachers will supply the CAVE system and needed infrastructure.



These are listed in order of decreasing priority. The first four are meant as ‘must-haves’, the remaining ones are ‘nice to haves’.

  1. Seeming realistic visualization of the two hospital settings. Using a tracking mechanism the user should be able to change perspective by looking up/down/left/right
  2. Being able to physically walk around in the room and then changing the perspective to follow. The main difference between the previous requirement is that the user will be able to walk around in the confines of the physical area of the CAVE.
  3. Being able to change the location of the viewpoint by using an auxiliary input when physically walking around does not suffice. It is up to the students to come up with a good implementation for this, several options should be evaluated (e.g. joystick, location aware movement)
  4. Getting feedback when the user collides with a virtual object (collision detection). The user should somehow be notified that this happens and preferably should be discouraged from proceeding in that direction. Several options for doing this should be developed and evaluated (e.g. flashing lights, movement of viewpoint, object falling down)
  5. The user should be able to interact with the location of virtual objects. For example the C-arch in the exam room should be movable by the user. Other examples could be moving chairs or desks around. Perhaps this could even lead to an 'editing' like environment so that the user can adjust the room layout according to his/her wishes. Another idea could be to have a small 2d editor to define the initial layout and use the CAVE for refinements.
  6. It should be possible to place avatars in the clinical setting and move them around. It would be nice if the movements of these avatars can be scripted so that some natural movements could be visualized in a loop.
  7. If movement of certain parts of the 3d setting can be scripted, it should be possible to trigger such a script via interaction with a virtual object, e.g. a virtual button placed inside the virtual setting.

Success criteria


The project should be executed by following an agile way of working, SCRUM in particular. The customers will give a short lecture about how to use this methodology.

  • Restricted by the quality of the 3d model, the visualization should be as life like as possible, to be judged by the teachers and customers
  • The movement of the user in the virtual environment should be as intuitive as possible, to be judged by the teachers and customers
  • There should be intuitive interaction with the virtual environment for movement of objects, again to be judged by teachers and customers.