The NanoManipulator project uses virtual-reality (graphics and force feedback) to interact with atomic force microscopes.  This type of microscope uses a small silicon tip to scan over a surface, and can also push around virus particles, carbon nanotubes ("Bucky Tubes,") and DNA. 

There are two parts to the system; one part runs on the microscope controller and the other on the graphics display.  When the Physicists are using the microscope part for experiments the development part of the system can not be used.  This program  lets the user scan on arbitrary functions (to simulate interesting surfaces) and sends data across the network at the same rate that the real microscope does.