Motorola Drop Test Visualization

Hong Yee Wong, Xiaoyan Liu- Institute of High Performance Computing,
National University of Singapore

SiewEng Quah- Motorola, Singapore

Jason Leigh- Electronic Visualization Laboratory,
University of Illinois at Chicago

One of the areas of research that Motorola actively engages in is the drop testing of their products- in this case one of their pagers. Physical drop tests typically produce few useful results as they typically only identify whether the product did or did not survive a fall. There is no easy way to observe the fall at the moment of impact. In particular there is no easy way to observe the effects of such a crash from within the device to identify key weaknesses in the product design.

However, by the simulating the data on supercomputers, Motorola is then able to visualize the effects of the impact from within the CAVE. The immersive capabilities of the CAVE affords a more natural interface to view the data. In this particular application a cutting plane can be pushed through the pager revealing the inner circuitry and printed-circuit board (PCB) housing. As the pager is rendered larger than life in the CAVE, the observe can physically walk inside the pager to observe how the PCB dislodges from its housing at the moment of impact. From this the designer can devise supports to further strengthen the housing.

Furthermore by adding tele-immersive capabilities to this visualization tool, Motorola engineers can discuss their findings with their collaborators around the world.