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October 22, 2015

Future learning at solar car finish line

Only a couple of days after Back To The Future Day - the actual future will roll into Tarndanyannga (Victoria Square) as the World Solar Challenge concludes in Adelaide. 

  • Words: Tania Bawden
  • Image supplied

To celebrate all things future, Flinders University will be setting up shop to showcase what some of its very clever fellows have been up to.

Digital media games, haptic (tactile) devices and mobile teaching robotics displays for schools and the public will be part of the action as solar vehicles from the around the world make their way across the nearby finish line.

Flinders University researcher Dr Greg Ruthenbeck, from the School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics, says haptic technology can provide hands-on learning with computer-based simulations and games for better learning – from the workplace to the surgical operating theatre of the future.

“For example, this 3D mouse recreates the sense of touch by providing precise force feedback to the user’s hand. This can be used in many ways, including teaching medical students how to perform delicate surgeries,” he says.

“We’re investigating new ways of applying haptics technology to simplify complex Computer Aided Design tasks and provide better training for assembly workers in advanced manufacturing.

“Haptic technology is an exciting new way of controlling everything from rehabilitation games, to the robotic arm of NASA’s Space Shuttle.

“This is the kind of technology, along with 3D modelling, that will help Flinders develop its solar vehicle and other breakthrough discoveries in the future.”

All the action from the 3000km Darwin-Adelaide solar challenge event winds up on Sunday in Victoria Square, Adelaide.

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