Robots in a Virtual Space


MxR team members Ryan Spicer and Rhys Yahata took part in the USC Robotics Open House where they demonstrated a prototype where a user or operator can control a physical object, like the Phantom X Robotic Arm kit,  from within a virtual environment. The demo was part of the E2C2, ONR funded project at ICT where virtual environments allow a user to experiment with different forms of high level control and various image sensors to see what kinds of interface and data will be helpful to the user.

Ryan and Rhys show local Elementary and High School students the art and science behind creating and interacting with Virtual Environments. Some students go to try MxR’s inVRse tablet based immersive viewer for their first ‘virtual voyage’.

Gizmodo Sees the Future in BlueShark

Gizmodo reporter Brent Rose featured Blue Shark, an Office of Naval Research-funded project that uses virtual reality to imagine how Sailors will collaborate, communicate and train. In an accompanying video, Todd Richmond of ICT said the project is being developed for the next generation, who will have grown up immersed in virtual technologies. “It changes our conception of how ships should be designed, and how people could be collaborating and communicating,” said Mark Bolas of ICT’s MxR Lab.

Read the article here.

Popular Mechanics visits ICT: To see VR Beyond Gaming

Jerry Beilinson, a journalist for Popular Mechanics visited with Mark Bolas to discuss the past, present and future of VR and to try out the immersive experience of “BlueShark”, an Office of Naval Research project, exploring the art of the possible by using virtual and augmented technology to enhance collaboration and communication of tomorrow.

Read the Popular Mechanics article here.

DARPA to release software developed by Mixed Reality Lab

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), is responsible for funding and developing blue sky advancements in technology and science for the US Department of Defense. These have included significant roles in developing GPS, the Internet, autonomous cars, integrated circuits, and hypersonic aircraft. DARPA has now made some of their software available for free through an Open Source Software Catalog:

ICT’s Mixed Reality Lab is proud to be represented in this catalog with software related to “Immersive Body Based Interactions”, a research project that seeks to understand and address the human computer interface challenges raised by Big Data. MxR team members David Krum and Thai Phan developed and contributed software for low cost tablet based virtual reality displays and innovative multi-touch software for accessing large databases.




Additional coverage:
Information Week

Fast Avatar Capture Puts You In The Game

A story and video on tech site Gizmodo gives a first look at ICT’s Fast Capture Avatar system that uses commodity hardware to turn people into video game characters. The project is a collaboration between the USC ICT’s Character Animation and Simulation Group from Ari Shapiro and Andrew Feng, USC ICT’s Mixed Reality Lab with Evan Suma, and the USC Institute for Robotics and Intelligence Systems with Wang Ruizhe and Gerard Medioni with contributions from USC Viterbi’s Hao Li.