Force Dimension Software (CHAI 3D)
Conceived primarily for the omega.x and delta.x families of haptic device, CHAI 3D is an open source software library for computer haptics, visualization and interactive real-time simulation. Written in C++, CHAI 3D has been designed to make it easier and more intuitive for developers to produce applications that combine 3D modeling with force-feedback rendering capabilities. Over the years CHAI 3D has been used in a large number of research and production projects, in such diverse areas as games, simulators, educational software, interactive art, scientific visualization, and medical applications.
Over the course of the last 5 years, CHAI 3D has grown to become one of the most popular open-source multi-platform haptics rendering frameworks, and has been used in a large number of research and production projects, in such diverse areas as games, simulators, educational software, interactive art, scientific visualization, and medical applications. Written in C++, CHAI 3D has been designed to make it easier and more intuitive for developers to produce applications that combine 3D modeling with force-feedback rendering capabilities. By supporting different types of force-feedback devices, CHAI3D offers a unique interface to easily design and deploy advanced computer haptic solutions.
CHAI3D combines an extensive number of force rendering algorithms, including the finger-proxy model, potential fields and implicit based models which allow programmers to easily develop sophisticated simulations with integrated force-feedback capabilities. The CHAI3D framework also provides the necessary data structures required to create multi-level scene-graphs which carry static, dynamic and articulated bodies. A lightweight OpenGL-based graphics engine provides the foundations for easy rendering of virtual environments using dedicated 3D graphic acceleration hardware. Object meshes, implicit shapes, surface materials and texture properties are all represented in well organized base classes that can easily be extended by the programmer to incorporate more advanced or application-specific features. CHAI3D also provides support for importing 3D files from professional applications such as Autodesk 3D Studio Max and Alias Wavefront.
Support for third party components is achieved through well organized extension modules that independently complement the capabilities of the CHAI 3D core elements. Extension modules currently include the ODE and GEL dynamics engines for simulating rigid and deformable bodies in real time. Well documented templates are provided for developers who wish to integrate custom designed haptic display solutions. Thanks to its lightweight and modular architecture, CHAI3D can easily be combined with third party libraries including graphics or dynamics engines.
The CHAI3D framework is currently available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux platforms (32-bit and 64-bit editions). Force Dimension currently leads the development of CHAI3D for professional applications by providing comprehensive technical support for research institutions and companies who wish to combine CHAI3D with Force Dimension’s family of haptic devices.