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Environment-Scale Fabrication: Replicating Outdoor Climbing Experiences

ACM CHI 2017
Emily Whiting, Nada Ouf, Liane Makatura, Christos Mousas, Zhenyu Shu & Ladislav Kavan


Despite rapid advances in 3D printing, fabricating large, durable and robust artifacts is impractical with current technology. We focus on a particularly challenging environment-scale artifact: rock climbing routes. We propose a prototype fabrication method to replicate part of an outdoor climbing route and enable the same sensorimotor experience in an indoor gym. We start with 3D reconstruction of the rock wall using multi-view stereo and use reference videos of a climber in action to identify localized rock features that are necessary for ascent. We create 3D models akin to traditional indoor climbing holds, fabricated using rapid prototyping, molding and casting techniques. This results in robust holds accurately replicating the features and configuration of the original rock route. Validation was performed on two rock climbing sites in New Hampshire and Utah. We verified our results by comparing climbers moves on the indoor replicas and original outdoor routes.


    author= {Emily Whiting and Nada Ouf and Liane Makatura and Christos Mousas and Zhenyu Shu and Ladislav Kavan},
    title = {Environment-Scale Fabrication: Replicating Outdoor Climbing Experiences},
    booktitle = {Proc.\ 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems},
    publisher = {ACM},
    year= {2017},
    pages = {1794--1804},