WAVE - Field Hospital ER Tent

VME Lab Projects

WAVE (Wide Area Virtual Environment)

The Wide Area Virtual Environment initiative aims to develop an immersive virtual environment to address team training requirements within life-like environments. This approach differs from systems using computer monitors and head-mounted displays in that all members of the team are in physical proximity while they interact within a virtual space. A scalable network-based rendering approach permits highly complex scenes to be rendered in real-time with minimal temporal mismatch between displays.


Cricothyroidotomy is an emergency procedure that is performed when the patient's airway is blocked, and less invasive attempts to clear it have failed. We are developing a computer-based cricothyroidotomy simulator. The simulator can be run in "Mentor" (practice) or "Test" (evaluation) modes.

Intracranial Hematoma Craniotomy

We are developing a Virtual Reality-based training simulator to practice the skills required to perform a craniotomy. A hand-immersive platform is used to generate a virtual environment with 3D stereoscopic visual and haptic feedback.

Pulmonary Artery Catheterization

Pulmonary Artery Catheterization (PAC) is commonly used in a wide variety of seriously ill patients when hemodynamic and cardiac parameters must be accurately monitored.

Haptic and Visual Perception

Understanding how people process visual and haptic feedback is an active area of research. With better insight, simulators can be optimized to provide the degree of visual and haptic fidelity necessary for learning. This project is an attempt to answer two questions regarding visual and haptic perception: How consistently can individuals recall a specific haptic experience, and the ability of individuals to perceive latency between haptic and visual feedback.

We developed a needle-insertion simulator depicting an idealized needle-stick scenario. Test subjects see a needle poised over a skin patch. Using the CathSim™ AccuTouch™ device, subjects can insert and remove the needle from the skin. As the needle is inserted, the skin deform, then "pops" back upward as the needle penetrates. At the same time, The AccuTouch™ provides haptic feedback by increasing resistance to needle penetration, then pressure is suddenly released as the needle enters the skin.

Validation of Locomotion Paradigms in an Immersive Virtual Environment

Project TOUCH is a collaborative effort between the University of New Mexico, The University of Hawaii, and the SimCen to apply advanced technologies to medical learning. Project TOUCH uses Flatland, an virtual reality visualization environment, to recreate medically relevant scenarios for practice and training. Individuals explore and interact with the virtual environment using a motion-tracked head mounted display and joystick. Multiple systems can connect via the Internet and share the same virtual space. In this manner, geographically dispersed individuals can still come together for team training exercises.


Pericardiocentesis is a surgical procedure performed to relieve fluid buildup between the heart and the pericardium. We have developed a computer-based simulator for this procedure. An early version uses the Reality Sculptor™ hardware platform. The system measures cannula insertion point, entry angle, and depth to determine if the procedure was performed correctly. These parameters are changeable by the instructor. Later versions used the lower cost CathSim™ AccuTouch™ vascular access device by Immersion Medical.

Diagnostic Peritoneal Lavage

Diagnostic Peritoneal Lavage (DPL) is performed when intra-abdominal bleeding secondary to trauma is suspected. The procedure is performed when alternative diagnostic methods such as computerized tomography (CT) or ultrasound imaging are unavailable, or when the patient’s condition does not allow them to be performed. We have developed a computer-based simulator for this procedure. The simulation runs on a PC-based computer running Windows NT.The CathSim™ AccuTouch™ vascular access device by Immersion Medical is used to simulate surgical instrument insertion.