Augmented Reality Sandbox with Real-Time Water Flow [Video]

By Jason Fitzpatrick on May 7th, 2012

This augmented reality sandbox features realistic sand movement, differentiated tools, and (most impressively) real time topography and water flow. It’s destined to be the coolest children’s museum exhibit ever.

From the video notes:

Video of a sandbox equipped with a Kinect 3D camera and a projector to project a real-time colored topographic map with contour lines onto the sand surface. The sandbox lets virtual water flow over the surface using a GPU-based simulation of the Saint-Venant set of shallow water equations.

We (the UC Davis W.M. Keck Center for Active Visualization in the Earth Sciences) built this for an NSF-funded project on informal science education. These AR sandboxes will be set up as hands-on exhibits in science museums, such as the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) or Lawrence Hall of Science.

For more information about the project check out the full project page at the link below.

Augmented Reality Sandbox [via Engadget]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/7/12
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