RMIT invests in aviation simulation technology

Published - 21 Mar 2014

RMIT University has invested in a new state-of-the-art simulation and test laboratory that will allow researchers to work with the aviation industry to develop and test a wide range of new technologies.

The $200,000 custom-designed simulation laboratory, developed in conjunction with SimRoom, will support research into new communication, navigation, surveillance and avionics systems for manned and unmanned aircraft, as well as decision-support tools and human machine interfaces for air traffic controllers.

The laboratory at the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering's Sir Lawrence Wackett Aerospace Centre in Bundoora also features sophisticated eye and head tracking equipment that will allow researchers to study human performance in the monitoring and control of aircraft.

The 230-degree, floor-to-ceiling, high definition visualisation and motion system, provides a realistic experience for test pilots, who, through the push of a button, can fly aircraft ranging from small four-seat planes, commercial passenger aircraft through to modern jet fighters.

Deputy Director of the Wackett Centre, Dr Reece Clothier, has overseen the design and installation of the simulation laboratory and was enthusiastic about its potential to test pilot performance.

"The level of autonomy in cockpit and in air traffic control systems is increasing, and this creates new issues in the human interaction with these systems," he said.

"Physical, social and cognitive issues - such as user situational awareness, task load, fatigue, boredom, complacency, fixation, trust and mode confusion - can all contribute towards errors in the operation of highly automated aerospace systems."

Collaborative research is already underway at the lab, with RMIT air traffic management (ATM) expert Associate Professor Roberto Sabatini leading a project with Thales Australia's Centre for Advanced Studies in ATM (CASIA).

The project is exploring trajectory-based operations - a new approach to aircraft flight planning and operations from airports, with the potential to significantly reduce fuel, noise and delays.

Thales Australia is also working with RMIT researchers on a system allowing unmanned aircraft to talk and respond to air traffic controllers like pilots, and on issues associated with integrating unmanned aircraft into Australian airspace.

Media note: High-resolution images of the lab are available.

For interviews: Dr Reece Clothier, (03) 9925 7007 or 0421 873 608.

For general media enquiries: Rebecca McGillivray, (03) 9925 9685 or 0433 262 865.

Video below is the RMIT SimRoom DisplayDeck being used for UAV Research & Training.

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University thinks outside the square for UAV research and opts for SimRoom

Published - 15 Feb 2014

SimRoom was established in 2007. From Day 1 it was our intent to address the Aerospace sector.  I’ll digress for a moment. Driving controls have progressed to a wide choice from the early Logitech wheel and two pedal unit. SimRoom now supports a range of leading brands and custom made controls. The experience, with the progression of driving software, along with D-BOX motion is at a new user level. One element missing, in our opinion, was the screen technology. Flat screens have got bigger, cheaper but are still flat. The world is not seen by the human eye as flat. SimRoom has been researching a range of visual technologies such as curved screens, head mounted displays (HDM’s) and retina projection for the last six years. 

Mid last year, as a result of being at Avalon 2013 (aerospace show) in Melbourne, came the approach to design a university grade research system for unmanned and manned aircraft. Dr Reece Clothier, Deputy Director, Lawrence Wackett Aerospace Centre, RMIT University, Melbourne said;

“The RMIT consulted with SimRoom to get an alternative view of simulation. The military type suppliers were coming from a top down view, "we have it, so it must be best". The ex DARPA RMIT Professor took the view that gaming was providing an expansive, open, well funded technology base. Given our prestigious client base, global systems experience and ability to innovate we were given the latitude to design the simulation and realtime / real world interfaces.”  

Over the next period we will show you the results of the integration of our new Aero-FX fixed and rotor wing controls matched with curved screen technology which is relevant to flying, driving and advanced commercial multi-media audio visual solutions.

The system design took two months. We will go into the specific capabilities in a set of ongoing articles. Lets take a look at the screen blending and warping test results and also a UAV training application installed. Over the next period we will show you the build and more results.

The RMIT system is a Windows based 8 Core CPU, 32Gb system memory with dual 3GB GPU’s. The viewing screen size is 1.87m (73.6”) x 7.4m (291”), 3.7m (146”) diameter continuous single surface wrapping around 230 degrees. The native resolution of the three Optoma projectors is 1280 x 800 pixels per projector. The overall system is 4.5m (185”) x 3.5m (137”). System cabinets on the left and right are positioned behind the backlit optical plexiglass light boxes. The raised floor and cabinetry is a rare oak from Persia grown in New Zealand.

Let us know what you think. Can you have a DisplayDeck designed for your home or business? Yes. Can it be bigger or smaller? Yes. Can we match your decor or branding? Yes.
If you have any questions drop us a line at 

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SimRoom Design - 80" Tri-Screen Stand - Part 3

Published - 30 Aug 2013

In the last part of this series we look at the final concept of the 3 x 80” screen system. In the first parts (see here for Part 1 and Part 2 ) we looked at the initial brief and have followed the development through the “roasting period”. We cook the input and examine whats practical and makes for a good design. Depending on how far we get with a commission then defines how its is made. Thats another process again.

80” Tri-Screen - Design 3

The third and final revision brought a number of the previous “Pro and Con’s” into focus with answers.

After further revision the support struts were analysed under an engineering analysis package so we had a firm basis to continue. This also clarified the proportions and finer details like the attachment of high end speakers with cabling concealed.

The result was feasible and could be built in either cut sheet or cast components.

The other part of the equation is the market acceptance. We feel the big flat screens have their place but curved screen technology is the way forward. What this space……!

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SimRoom Design - 80" Tri-Screen Stand - Part 2

Published - 28 Aug 2013

In the previous part of this blog entry we gave the background to this design project. The design process progresses through a number of revisions based on the design brief. During the design brainstorming process we look for additional functionality. The objective is to get three functions or uses to any one item. That could be fixing, holding or a specific use.

80” Tri-Screen - Design 2

So the rear section of the base could be more functional and stylish. An enclosure for a PC plus PS3‘s or Xbox’s were considered. This would tidy the inter system cabling plus add a section for a heavier base. The cantilevered weight of the screens required more support directly under the fulcrum point. Hence the support struts were changed to arch over to this moment point. This missed one element as to how to integrate two high end front speakers.

  • Used our signature round tube.
  • Now had a place as a system enclosure.
  • The forces were spread better.
  • The rear support mechanism was simplified.
  • No place for speakers.
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SimRoom Design - 80" Tri-Screen Stand - Part 1

Published - 26 Aug 2013

SimRoom started it’s life with research in 2007 with the first product, VisionRacer VR3 released in 2009.

From day 1 we were focused on two ethics, “Better by Design” and a Japanese term “Kaizen” meaning “constant improvement”. To some the “Devil is in the detail” but to us “God is in the detail”. Hence we spend lots of time on things like the longevity, correct proportions and unsightly points like cable management.

Over this period we have worked on a range of product design commissions which would compliment the SimRoom products. We thought we would bring you an insight into a couple of these via the Blog.

The first point is not every design becomes a product. For one reason or the other either the practicality presents an issue or the products just don’t hit the market.

We engineer our products using SolidWorks and then various rendering engines.

Lets start with a client request a couple of years ago for triple 80” screens. Given money was no object how could we construct an integrated system for his no expense spared SimRoom? It started as a brief to support the screens proposed (Sharp AQUOS Quattron 80”). Our response was a concept which would hold the screens which then developed into a system including a housing for the PC, PS3’s and or multiple Xbox’s.

Without doubt we found a few issues with the actual making and operation of the massive viewing system and the clients final commitment to a development program. That aside, the point of this blog is to give an insight into some pretty cool SimRoom gear we have had designed. It may inspire a custom solution you had in mind.

Three design concepts developed and were considered. Lets look at each in these three parts. Tell us which one is best?

80” Tri-Screen - Design 1

This design followed our signature use of bent tubes for the base. We focused on the basic requirements which meant a load of discussion amongst our small team. The engineering has to meet the aesthetics so each element is “roasted” when put forward by David, Shaun or Ryan. This system was always going to be a custom made to order product so we had some leeway in materials, construction and manufacturing.

  • Based around our signature round tube.
  • Stability issues with cantilevered outside screens.
  • Overly complex at the rear with no specific purpose.
  • Exposed cabling.
  • In the next blog we will look at the second design.
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New SimRoom Website

Published - 31 May 2013

SimRoom has launched a new revision of the website.  This revision will introduce a more ProSumer focus with a range of high quality accessories.  Its now possible to add torsion rigidity in parts or more functionality across the chassis.  When designing each product we look to make these parts have more than one function.

For instance the Wheel Brace option allows higher torque wheels to be mounted, removes the requirement for the centre Carbon spine and provides mounting points for more accessories.  This is one of 10 new tuning and accessory options for the VisionRacer VR3.

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VisionRacer now on

Published - 16 Dec 2012

We have moved to combine the VisionRacer website fully into the SimRoom site. Announcements on our direction are coming up along with a new look SimRoom website. We have taken your suggestions and comments with more a store feel.

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