Systems involving autonomous components are much more flexible and powerful than conventional ones. But building them bears lots of difficulties since complexity in design and control increases with the number, and the skills of the autonomous systems. For interacting with the environment, each autonomous component must react on data given by sensors- sensors which perceive information in a completely different way than humans. Virtual environments provide facilities to make processes of autonomous systems alive by giving them a visual existence. This paper presents how a virtual environment is employed to help building, verifying, and enhancing an autonomous mobile system.

Marion Finke, Johannes Strassner, Josef Speier, Liliane Peters, Michael Pauly, Martin Göbel and Hartmut Surmann. An Interactive Test Environment for Autonomous Robots. Topical Workshop on Virtual Reality and Advanced Human-Robot Systems , Proceedings of 15th World Congress of the International Measurement Confederation, Tokyo, Japan, Springer Verlag, S. 221-226, 1999.