UH students create high-resolution, virtual reality Star Wars simulation

Photo: University of Hawaii

Two University of Hawaii at Manoa students created a stunning simulation that will take you “to a galaxy far, far away.”

In honor of Star Wars’ 40th anniversary, engineering graduate student Noel Kawano and computer science student Ryan Theriot created “Star Wars Squadron and Tatooine.”

Their project utilizes a hybrid visualization system that combines immersive virtual reality with ultra-high-resolution display walls. Stand inside, and you can wield a light saber or fly a starfighter through space.

“Because of this new system we decided to take advantage of its capabilities and make something really cool,” Kawano said.

The system itself, called Destiny-class CyberCANOE (cyber-enabled Collaboration Analysis Navigation and Observation Environment), was created by UH computer and information sciences professor Jason Leigh.

Leigh’s students were also heavily involved in the design and construction of the $250,000 state-of-the-art system, with investment and partnership from the National Science Foundation and the UH Academy for Creative Media System.

It’s the seventh and best CyberCANOE Leigh has built in Hawaii over the past couple of years.

The cylindrical CyberCANOE, which is 16 feet in diameter and stands eight feet high, allows scientists and researchers to visualize data at resolutions that are 100-times better than commercial 3-D displays, for example, exploring outer space or probing microscopic elements within the human body.

On Oct. 28, 2016 the National Science Foundation tweeted: “At 256 million pixels, the CyberCANOE at @UHManoa is the highest resolution #VR display in the world.”

An open house in August will allow the public to view the system first-hand. Details have yet to be announced.

Photo: University of Hawaii

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