Home About the Journal Latest Work Current Issue Archive Special Issues Editorial Board
<< Previous Next >>

2020, 2(5): 394-408

Published Date:2020-10-20 DOI: 10.1016/j.vrih.2020.06.002

Virtual reality research and development in NTU


In 1981, Nanyang Technological Institute was established in Singapore to train engineers and accountants to keep up with the fast-growing economy of the country. In 1991, the institute was upgraded to Nanyang Technological University (NTU). NTU holds the rank for world’s top young university for six consecutive years according to the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) world university ranking. Virtual Reality (VR) research began in NTU in the late 1990s. NTU’s colleges, schools, institutes, and centers have contributed toward the excellence of VR research. This article briefly describes the VR research directions and activities in NTU.


Virtual reality ; Research and development ; Nanyang Technological University ; Singapore

Cite this article

Lihui HUANG, Siti Faatihah Binte Mohd TAIB, Ryan Aung BA, Zhe An GOH, Mengshan XU. Virtual reality research and development in NTU. Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware, 2020, 2(5): 394-408 DOI:10.1016/j.vrih.2020.06.002


1. Nanyang Technological University. Available from: https://www.ntu.edu.sg

2. GleneaglesHospital. Available from: https://www.gleneagles.com.sg/

3. Chiang P, Zheng J M, Mak K H, Thalmann N M, Cai Y Y. Progressive surface reconstruction for heart mapping procedure. Computer-Aided Design, 2012, 44(4): 289–299 DOI:10.1016/j.cad.2011.11.004

4. Chiang P, Cai Y Y, Mak K H, Zheng J M. A B-spline approach to phase unwrapping in tagged cardiac MRI for motion tracking. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 2013, 69(5): 1297–1309 DOI:10.1002/mrm.24359

5. Chiang P, Cai Y Y, Mak K H, Soe E M, Chui C K, Zheng J M. A geometric approach to the modeling of the catheter-heart interaction for VR simulation of intra-cardiac intervention. Computers & Graphics, 2011, 35(5): 1013–1022 DOI:10.1016/j.cag.2011.07.007

6. Chiang P, Zheng J M, Yu Y, Mak K H, Chui C K, Cai Y Y. A VR simulator for intracardiac intervention. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 2013, 33(1): 44–57 DOI:10.1109/mcg.2012.47

7. The OPAS's Lab of Medicine and Pathology. Available from: http://sites.utoronto.ca/mocell

8. Guan Y Q, Cai Y Y, Lee Y T, Opas M. An automatic method for identifying appropriate gradient magnitude for 3D boundary detection of confocal image stacks. Journal of Microscopy, 2006, 223(1): 66–72 DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2818.2006.01600.x

9. Indhumathi C, Cai Y Y, Guan Y Q, Opas M. 3D boundary extraction of confocal cellular images using higher order statistics. Journal of Microscopy, 2009, 235(2): 209–220

10. Indhumathi C, Cai Y Y, Guan Y Q, Opas M. An automatic segmentation algorithm for 3D cell cluster splitting using volumetric confocal images. Journal of Microscopy, 2011, 243(1): 60–76 DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2818.2010.03482.x

11. Indhumathi C, Cai Y Y, Guan Y Q, Opas M, Zheng J. Adaptive-weighted cubic B-spline using lookup tables for fast and efficient axial resampling of 3D confocal microscopy images. Microscopy Research and Technique, 2012, 75(1): 20–27 DOI:10.1002/jemt.21017

12. Guan Y Q, Cai Y Y, Zhang X, Lee Y T, Opas M. Adaptive correction technique for 3D reconstruction of fluorescence microscopy images. Microscopy Research and Technique, 2008, 71(2): 146–157 DOI:10.1002/jemt.20536

13. Guan Y, Cai Y Y, Opas M, Xiong Z W, Lee Y T. A VR enhanced collaborative system for 3d confocal microscopic image processing and visualization. International Journal of Image and Graphics, 2006, 6(2): 231–250 DOI:10.1142/s0219467806002215

14. Institute of Mental Health. https://www.imh.com.sg/

15. Goldsmith T R, LeBlanc L A. Use of technology in interventions for children with autism. Journal of Early and Intensive Behavior Intervention, 2004, 1(2): 166–178 DOI:10.1037/h0100287

16. Mohd Taib S F B, Zhang Y Z, Cai Y Y, Goh T J. Supermarket route-planning game: A serious game for the rehabilitation of planning executive function of children with ASD. In: VR, Simulations and Serious Games for Education. Singapore: Springer Singapore, 2018, 111–119 DOI:10.1007/978-981-13-2844-2_10

17. PECLimited. Available from: http://www.peceng.com

18. Sanders J, Kandrot E. Cuda By Example: An Introduction to General-Purpose GPU Programming. Addison-Wesley Professional, 2010

19. Cai P P, Cai Y Y, Chandrasekaran I, Zheng J M. Parallel genetic algorithm based automatic path planning for crane lifting in complex environments. Automation in Construction, 2016, 62: 133–147 DOI:10.1016/j.autcon.2015.09.007

20. Cai P P, Chandrasekaran I, Zheng J M, Cai Y Y. Automatic path planning for dual-crane lifting in complex environments using a prioritized multiobjective PGA. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics, 2018, 14(3): 829–845 DOI:10.1109/tii.2017.2715835

21. Chen Y, Cai Y Y, Zheng J M, Thalmann D. Accurate and efficient approximation of clothoids using bézier curves for path planning. IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 2017, 33(5): 1242–1247 DOI:10.1109/tro.2017.2699670

22. Dutta S, Cai Y Y, Huang L H, Zheng J M. Automatic re-planning of lifting paths for robotized tower cranes in dynamic BIM environments. Automation in Construction, 2020, 110: 102998 DOI:10.1016/j.autcon.2019.102998

23. Cai P P, Chandrasekaran I, Cai Y Y, Chen Y, Wu X Q. Simulation-enabled vocational training for heavy crane operations. In: Simulation and Serious Games for Education. Singapore: Springer Singapore, 2016, 47–59 DOI:10.1007/978-981-10-0861-0_4

24. Volk R, Stengel J, Schultmann F. Building Information Modeling (BIM) for existing buildings: Literature review and future needs. Automation in Construction, 2014, 38: 109–127 DOI:10.1016/j.autcon.2013.10.023

25. Linsen L. Point Cloud Representation. Technical Report, Faculty of Computer Science. University of Karlsruhe, Germany, 2001

26. Huang L H, Zhang Y Z, Zheng J M, Cai P P, Dutta S, Yue Y F, Thalmann N, Cai Y Y. Point cloud based path planning for tower crane lifting. In: Proceedings of Computer Graphics International 2018 on-CGI 2018. Bintan, Island, Indonesia, New York, ACM Press, 2018, 211–215 DOI:10.1145/3208159.3208186

27. Surbana Jurong. https://surbanajurong.com/

28. School of Computer Science & Engineering. Available from: https://www.ntu.edu.sg/home/asjmzheng/

29. GovTech. Available from: https://www.tech.gov.sg/media/technews/virtual-singapore

30. Open Geospatial Consortium. Available from: https://www.ogc.org/standards/citygml

31. VirtualSingapore. Available from: https://www.nrf.gov.sg/programmes/virtual-singapore

32. FraunhoferSingapore. Available from: https://www.fraunhofer.sg/en/research/industrial-immersive-technologies.html

33. School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Available from: https://www.ntu.edu.sg/cce

34. Liu Y S, Lan Z R, Cui J, Krishnan G, Sourina O, Konovessis D, Ang H E, Mueller-Wittig W. Psychophysiological evaluation of seafarers to improve training in maritime virtual simulator. Advanced Engineering Informatics, 2020, 44, 101048 DOI:10.1016/j.aei.2020.101048

35. Cruz-Neira C, Sandin D J, DeFanti T A, Kenyon R V, Hart J C. The CAVE: audio visual experience automatic virtual environment. Communications of the ACM, 1992, 35(6): 64–72 DOI:10.1145/129888.129892

36. Science Centre Singapore. Available from: https://www.science.edu.sg/

37. Institute of High-performance Computing. Available from: https://www.a-star.edu.sg/ihpc

38. Lee Y T, Au C K. Virtual design education in NTU. In: Proceedings of 40th ISAGA Annual Conference, Singapore, 2009

39. Institute for Media Innovation. Available from: https://www.ntu.edu.sg/imi

40. Cai Y Y, Chia N K H, Thalmann D, Kee N K N, Zheng J M, Thalmann N M. Design and development of a virtual dolphinarium for children with autism. IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, 2013, 21(2): 208–217 DOI:10.1109/tnsre.2013.2240700

41. Cai Y Y, van Joolingen W, Walker Z. VR, Simulations and serious games for education. Singapore: Springer Singapore, 2019 DOI:10.1007/978-981-13-2844-2

42. Cai Y Y, Goei S L, Trooster W. Simulation and serious games for education. Singapore: Springer Singapore, 2017 DOI:10.1007/978-981-10-0861-0

43. Underwater World Singapore. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underwater_World,_Singapore

44. AWWA Special School. Available from: https://edu.awwa.org.sg/

45. Suzhou Industrial Park Renai Special School. Available from: http://nanjixiong.com/archiver/tid-65527.html

46. Utrecht University. https://www.uu.nl/staff/wrvanjoolingen

47. Windesheim University of Applied Sciences. Available from: https://www.windesheim.com/research/education/educational-needs-in-inclusive-learning-environments/contact

48. Chen W, Yu R D, Zheng J M, Cai Y Y, Au C. Triangular Bézier sub-surfaces on a triangular Bézier surface. Journal of Computational and Applied Mathematics, 2011, 235(17): 5001–5016 DOI:10.1016/j.cam.2011.04.030

49. Zheng J, Cai Y. Interpolation over arbitrary topology meshes using a two-phase subdivision scheme. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2006, 12(3): 301–310 DOI:10.1109/tvcg.2006.49

50. Chen W, Zheng J M, Cai Y Y. Kernel modeling for molecular surfaces using a uniform solution. Computer-Aided Design, 2010, 42(4): 267–278 DOI:10.1016/j.cad.2009.10.003

51. Singapore Art Museum. Available from: https://www.singaporeartmuseum.sg

52. Cai Y Y, Lu B F, Fan Z W, Chan C W, Lim K T, Qi L, Li L. Proteins, immersive games and music. Leonardo, 2006, 39(2): 135–137 DOI:10.1162/leon.2006.39.2.135

53. Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower. Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oriental_Pearl_Tower

54. Cai Y Y, Lu B F, Zheng J M, Li L. Immersive protein gaming for bio edutainment. Simulation & Gaming, 2006, 37(4): 466–475 DOI:10.1177/1046878106293677

55. Cai Y Y, Lu B F, Fan Z W, Indhumathi C, Lim K T, Chan C W, Jiang Y, Li L. Bio-edutainment: Learning life science through X gaming. Computers & Graphics, 2006, 30(1): 3–9 DOI:10.1016/j.cag.2005.10.003

56. Cai Y. 3D Immersive and Interactive Learning. Springer Verlag, Singapore, 2013

57. School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. Available from: http://research.ntu.edu.sg/expertise/academicprofile/Pages/StaffProfile.aspx?ST_EMAILID=MYYCAI

58. School of Chemical & Biological Engineering. Available from: https://research.ntu.edu.sg/expertise/academicprofile/Pages/StaffProfile.aspx?ST_EMAILID=pgunawan&CategoryDescription=Energy

59. Services Centrefor IT. Available from: http://enewsletter.ntu.edu.sg/itconnect/2018-03/Pages/VARTEL.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

60. National Institute of Education. https://www.nie.edu.sg/students/project/afd-06-16-cy

61. Cai Y Y, Zheng J M, Zhang Y Z, Wu X Q, Chen Y, Tan B Q, Yang B Y, Liu T R, Thalmann N. Madam snake white: a case study on virtual reality continuum applications for Singaporean culture and heritage at haw par villa. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 2018, 26(4): 378–388 DOI:10.1162/pres_a_00303

62. Ch'ng E, Cai Y Y, Thwaites H. Special issue on VR for culture and heritage: the experience of cultural heritage with virtual reality (part II): guest editors' introduction. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 2018, 26(4): 3–4 DOI:10.1162/pres_e_00311

63. School of Art, Design and Media. Available from: http://research.ntu.edu.sg/expertise/academicprofile/Pages/StaffProfile.aspx?ST_EMAILID=MWALSH

64. Walsh M, Bernardello R. Heritage Visualization and Potential Speculative Reconstructions in Digital Space: The Medieval Church of St. Anne in Famagusta, Cyprus. Disegnarecon, 2018

65. Centre for Augmented and Virtual Reality. Available from: https://cos.ntu.edu.sg/CAVR

66. EONReality. Available from: https://eonreality.com/

67. Sourin A. Nanyang Technological University virtual campus virtual reality project. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 2004, 24(6): 6–8 DOI:10.1109/mcg.2004.57

68. BeingTogetherCentre. Available from: https://imi.ntu.edu.sg/IMIResearch/ResearchAreas/Pages/BeingTogetherCentre.aspx

69. Yumak Z, Ren J F, Thalmann N M, Yuan J S. Modelling multi-party interactions among virtual characters, robots, and humans. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 2014, 23(2): 172–190 DOI:10.1162/pres_a_00179

70. Tahir Y, Dauwels J, Thalmann D, Magnenat Thalmann N. A user study of a humanoid robot as a social mediator for two-person conversations. International Journal of Social Robotics, 2018, 1–14 DOI:10.1007/s12369-018-0478-3

71. Thalmann N M, Tian L, Yao F P. Nadine: A social robot that can localize objects and grasp them in a human way. In: Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering. Singapore: Springer Singapore, 2017, 1–23 DOI:10.1007/978-981-10-4235-5_1

72. Fuchs H, State A, Bazin J C. Immersive 3D telepresence. Computer, 2014, 47(7): 46–52 DOI:10.1109/mc.2014.185

73. Chakravarthula P, Dunn D, Akşit K, Fuchs H. FocusAR: auto-focus augmented reality eyeglasses for both real world and virtual imagery. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2018, 24(11): 2906–2916 DOI:10.1109/tvcg.2018.2868532

74. Rathinavel K, Wang H P, Blate A, Fuchs H. An extended depth-at-field volumetric near-eye augmented reality display. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2018, 24(11): 2857–2866 DOI:10.1109/tvcg.2018.2868570

75. School of Social Sciences. Available from: http://research.ntu.edu.sg/expertise/academicprofile/pages/StaffProfile.aspx?ST_EMAILID=XUHONG

76. Ying H J, Burns E, Lin X Y, Xu H. Ensemble statistics shape face adaptation and the cheerleader effect. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2019, 148(3): 421–436 DOI:10.1037/xge0000564

77. Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. Available from: http://research.ntu.edu.sg/expertise/academicprofile/pages/StaffProfile.aspx?ST_EMAILID=CHENHH

78. Chen V H H, Wilhelm C, Joeckel S. Relating video game exposure, sensation seeking, aggression and socioeconomic factors to school performance. Behaviour & Information Technology, 2019, 1–13 DOI:10.1080/0144929x.2019.1634762

79. Zhang Y Z, Zheng J M, Magnenat-Thalmann N. Cloth simulation and virtual try-on with kinect based on human body adaptation. In: Gaming Media and Social Effects. Singapore: Springer Singapore, 2013, 31–50 DOI:10.1007/978-981-4560-32-0_3

80. Magnenat-Thalmann N. Modeling and simulating bodies and garments. London: Springer London, 2010 DOI:10.1007/978-1-84996-263-6


1. Yang LI, Dong WU, Jin HUANG, Feng TIAN, Hong'an WANG, Guozhong DAI, Influence of multi-modality on moving target selection in virtual reality Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2019, 1(3): 303-315

2. Yang LI, Jin HUANG, Feng TIAN, Hong-An WANG, Guo-Zhong DAI, Gesture interaction in virtual reality Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2019, 1(1): 84-112

3. Athirah SYAMIMI, Yiwei GONG, Ryan LIEW, VR industrial applicationsA singapore perspective Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2020, 2(5): 409-420

4. Jie GUO, Dongdong WENG, Yue LIU, Qiyong CHEN, Yongtian WANG, Analysis of teenagers' preferences and concerns regarding HMDs in education Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2021, 3(5): 369-382

5. Susu HUANG, Daqing QI, Jiabin YUAN, Huawei TU, Review of studies on target acquisition in virtual reality based on the crossing paradigm Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2019, 1(3): 251-264

6. Yukang YAN, Xin YI, Chun YU, Yuanchun SHI, Gesture-based target acquisition in virtual and augmented reality Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2019, 1(3): 276-289

7. Yuan GAO, Le XIE, A review on the application of augmented reality in craniomaxillofacial surgery Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2019, 1(1): 113-120

8. Yuan CHANG, Guo-Ping WANG, A review on image-based rendering Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2019, 1(1): 39-54

9. Shiguang QIU, Shuntao LIU, Deshuai KONG, Qichang HE, Three-dimensional virtual-real mapping of aircraft autom-atic spray operation and online simulation monitoring Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2019, 1(6): 611-621

10. Xu PENG, Zhenyu GAO, Yitong DING, Dongfeng ZHAO, Xiaoyu CHI, Study of ghost image suppression in polarized catadioptric virtual reality optical systems Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2020, 2(1): 70-78

11. Zhiming HU, Sheng LI, Meng GAI, Temporal continuity of visual attention for future gaze prediction in immersive virtual reality Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2020, 2(2): 142-152

12. Stéphanie PHILIPPE, Alexis D. SOUCHET, Petros LAMERAS, Panagiotis PETRIDIS, Julien CAPORAL, Gildas COLDEBOEUF, Hadrien DUZAN, Multimodal teaching, learning and training in virtual reality: a review and case study Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2020, 2(5): 421-442

13. Jia Ming LEE, Xinxing XIA, Clemen OW, Felix CHUA, Yunqing GUAN, VEGO: A novel design towards customizable and adjustable head-mounted display for VR Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2020, 2(5): 443-453

14. Jingcheng QIAN, Yancong MA, Zhigeng PAN, Xubo YANG, Effects of Virtual-real fusion on immersion, presence, and learning performance in laboratory education Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2020, 2(6): 569-584

15. Hengwei XU, Siru LI, Wenpeng SONG, Jiajun SUN, Xinli WU, Xiaoqi WANG, Wenzhen YANG, Zhigeng PAN, Abdennour EI RHALIBI, Thermal perception method of virtual chemistry experiments Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2020, 2(4): 305-315

16. TJ MATTHEWS, Feng TIAN, Tom DOLBY, Interaction design for paediatric emergency VR training Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2020, 2(4): 330-344

17. Hongxin ZHANG, Jin ZHANG, Xue YIN, Kan ZHOU, Zhigeng PAN, Abdennour EI RHALIBI, Cloud-to-end rendering and storage management for virtual reality in experimental education Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2020, 2(4): 368-380

18. Xiang ZHOU, Liyu TANG, Ding LIN, Wei HAN, Virtual & augmented reality for biological microscope in experiment education Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2020, 2(4): 316-329

19. Haoyu WANG, Jianhuang WU, A virtual reality based surgical skills training simulator for catheter ablation with real-time and robust interaction Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2021, 3(4): 302-314

20. Na ZHANG, Liwen TAN, Fengying LI, Bing HAN, Yifa XU, Development and application of digital assistive teaching system for anatomy Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2021, 3(4): 315-335

21. Daniel VANKOV, David JANKOVSZKY, Effects of using headset-delivered virtual reality in road safety research: A systematic review of empirical studies Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2021, 3(5): 351-368

22. Dangxiao WANG, Yuan GUO, Shiyi LIU, Yuru ZHANG, Weiliang XU, Jing XIAO, Haptic display for virtual reality: progress and challenges Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2019, 1(2): 136-162

23. Aiguo SONG, Liyue FU, Multi-dimensional force sensor for haptic interaction: a review Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2019, 1(2): 121-135

24. Wenmin ZHU, Xiumin FAN, Yanxin ZHANG, Applications and research trends of digital human models in the manufacturing industry Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2019, 1(6): 558-579

25. Mohammad Mahmudul ALAM, S. M. Mahbubur RAHMAN, Affine transformation of virtual 3D object using 2D localization of fingertips Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2020, 2(6): 534-555

26. Yuan WEI, Dongdong GUAN, Qiuchen WANG, Xiangxian LI, Yulong BIAN, Pu QIN, Yanning XU, Chenglei YANG, Virtual fire drill system supporting co-located collaboration Virtual Reality & Intelligent Hardware 2019, 1(3): 290-302