Dartmouth-led research team replicates expert climbing routes using 3-D modeling, digital fabrication

Imagine getting to climb some of the most challenging rock faces in the world, without ever leaving town to do it.

“What we wanted to do is capture the actual shape of the rock, or what the climber was going to grasp onto, and be able to replicate that in an indoor climbing gym,” Emily Whiting, lead author and assistant professor of computer science at Dartmouth College, said.

Whiting, along with a team of researchers took on a yearlong project utilizing technology and 3-D modeling to recreate expert climbing routes in both New Hampshire and Utah.

It was a study that she said might open new doors into what the sport could eventually become.

“Rather than having to travel hundreds of miles or thousands of miles to access these places in the middle of the woods, or at the top of a mountain, it could really make a difference in the success for an accent,” Whiting said.

The research was completed in a series of steps. First, researchers transformed the routes into 3-D models, and videotaped climbers ascending each rock face. Using that data, the researchers then began to physically replicate the rocks

Once the wall was complete, climbers tried it out for themselves. Whiting said that, over time, real rocks can become damaged by those who climb them, so continuing to recreate routes via technology may prevent that.

“By allowing people to train in a synthetic environment, they can preserve the natural environment,” Whiting said.

WEBVTT S EXPLAINED, THEY AREUSING 3-D TECHNOLOGY TO BRINGTHEM TO LIFE INDOORS.REPORTER IMAGINE GETTING TO: CLIMB SOME OF THE MOSTCHALLENGING ROCK FACES IN THEWORLD, WITHOUT EVER LEAVING TOWNTO DO IT.>> WHAT WE ARE DOING IS ACTUALLYTHE ACTUAL SHAPE OF THE ROCK ORWHAT THE CLIMBER IS GOING TOCLASS ON TO TO BE OF TOREPLICATE THAT INDOORS.REPORTER: EMILY WHITING IS ANASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF COMPUTERSCIENCE AT DARMOUTH COLLEGE.SHE, ALONG WITH A TEAM OFRESEARCHERS, TOOK ON A YEAR-LONGPROJECT…

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