Pathfinder scientists view Mars surface through CrystalEyes

Scientists at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., needed a 3-D visual user interface for operators of the telerobotic systems aboard the Pathfinder rover on Mars. The CrystalEyes stereo-scopic vision system from StereoGraphics in San Rafael, Calif., was their answer.

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Scientists at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., needed a 3-D visual user interface for operators of the telerobotic systems aboard the Pathfinder rover on Mars. The CrystalEyes stereo-scopic vision system from StereoGraphics in San Rafael, Calif., was their answer.

The CrystalEyes technology helps users with hand-eye coordination and depth perception, and saves money and time by enabling any scientist at NASA to steer toward a remote object, and eliminates the need for highly trained operators, says Daryl Rasmussen, head of the virtual reality group at NASA Ames.

"CrystalEyes allows our scientists to view the Mars terrain in a natural way and interact with the terrain as if they were really there," Rasmussen adds. "The scientists can act as pilots and explore the Mars surface, taking accurate measurements and performing analysis of various features."

The added depth perception enables rover operators to avoid colliding with rocks or other obstacles and is key to taking accurate distance measurements.

The product gives the user the ability to perceive depth using liquid crystal shutters that operate in sequence to separate left-eye and right-eye specific images transmitted from two cameras mounted to the Mars rover. - J.M.

For more information on CrystalEyes and StereoGraphics contact Andy Ramm by phone at 415-459-4500, by mail at P.O. Box 2309, San Rafael, Calif., 94912-2309, by e-mail at aramm@crystaleye.com, or on the World Wide Web at http:// stereographics.com.

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The Butterfly DSP DBDSP9124 from Sharp Microelectronics Technology in Camas, Wash., is powering the Gemini processing board from Catalina Research in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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