Summary

Here is a summary of the components needed to run the entire simulator system:
Simulator_Server : The Simulator server is a module that simulates the actual nanoManipulator microscope. It receives and sends out the same data as the microscope would. The simulator communicates with Microscape using VRPN to send and receive message/data files. The simulator receives requests from Microscape and returns the appropriate data or carries out the appropriate actions.  simulator_server handles interaction between the Simulator and Microscape. The actual alteration and selection of data values to send are handled by nmm_Microscope_Simulator. Furthermore the encoding and decoding of the VRPN messages are handled in nmm_Microscope.  

PHANToM: PHANToM is a force feedback device that allows the user to feel the surface in Microscape and to manipulate the image/surface.

Microscape : Microscape is a graphics program that visually displays the scanned image. From Microscape the image can be looked at and felt (using the PHANToM device) from different angles. Both the commands to alter or retrieve current scanned data and the returned requested values are sent through VRPN encoded messages from Microscape  and to Microscape. For proper display of the surface in Microscape a setup file should be included.

VRPN (Virtual-Reality Peripheral Network) : The Virtual-Reality Peripheral Network (VRPN) is a set of classes within a library and a set of servers that are designed to implement a network-transparent interface between application programs and the set  of physical devices used in a virtual-reality (VR) system. The idea is to have a PC or other host at each VR station that controls the peripherals (tracker, button device, sound, etc). VRPN provides connections between the application and all of the devices using the appropriate class-of-service for each type of device sharing this link. The application remains unaware of the network topology.