Biorobotics Laboratory BioRob

Julien Gagnet (Summer Internship 2003)

Webview - An Internet Interface for Webots

A camera into Webots

Webview is a plugin for different internet browsers (Internet Explorer and Netscape) that immerses the user in a 3D world updated in real time. The plugin is connected to a server running the robots simulation program Webots, which computes the different interactions between robots and the world taking into account physical forces. Resulted movements are then sent to the plugin. The world is thus continuously updated from the internet, with modifications of the position and orientation of any object of the world.

The plugin allows the user to navigate in the 3D world using a mouse, and to observe all the action going on between the robots. The UDP protocol is used for fast performance and this generates very fluent animations. TCP is used when UDP fails. The world is described in a format very similar to VRML and some complexe scenes were successfully tested like one with Sony's robot, Aibo.

The compatibility between operating systems and different browsers was always kept in mind. Six different versions were released to assure this compatibility: an ActiveX for Internet Explorer (Windows), a plugin for Netscape (Windows, Linux), and stand alone versions (Windows, Linux, MacOS X).

Image WebView