Science Meets Fiction
workshop series opener draws capacity crowd
newest workshop series is an ongoing examination of the far future
sparked by the imagination of artists scientists from around the
The series' first
Simulating Identities, brought future-thinkers and
visionaries to IST's conference rooms for a Friday evening
reception and demonstration showcase followed the next day by an
all-day workshop. the workshop was sponsored by the US Army
PEOSTRI and the Joint Advanced Distributed Learning Co-laboratory.
examined the future of simulation and virtual technology and its
impact on our self-perception. Attendees speculated on the
advances in and possibilities of provoking intense identification
with artificial identities and social environments. This workshop
was designed to create thought provoking and diverse visions of a
possible future when boundaries melt between the real and
ventured into novel approaches for tapping creative minds and
provoking participation from industry leaders to produce a
catalytic on-line document intended to inspire the next great
scientific discovery or work of fiction in synthetic humanity.
The Friday evening
reception was hosted by the National Center for Simulation (www.simulationinformation.com)
and sponsored by the Metro Orlando Film and Entertainment
Commission. Cutting edge, virtual and real world boundary melting
media technology was showcased with multi-sensory Mixed Reality
under development by the Media Convergence Laboratory (www.mcl.ucf.edu).
a prototype of an experiential movie trailer that allows you to
experience an action scene of a movie as it immerses you in a
theme-park-style video game;
a multi-modal, immersive game chamber for group interaction;
a merging of live and virtual simulation for Military Operation in
Urban Terrain; and other on-going research in experiential and
immersive media. At the convergence of the nation’s leading
military research in simulation-based training and the world’s
center for experience-based entertainment,
Orlando is rapidly becoming the
world’s center for experiential media.
was provided by the
Orlando instrumental trio,
Media Convergence Lab director
Christopher Stapleton coordinated the
Beyond VR workshop.
More about the Media Convergence Lab
More about the Science Meets Fiction series
investigators will leave more than footprints behind
A project underway in IST's labs aims
to create robot vehicles that can venture onto unknown terrain,
send back survey results and leave behind remote sensors that will
continue to monitor the area.
The team is exploring creative ways to
integrate GPS, Mote sensors (a form of miniaturized remote sensing
device), a continuous localization algorithm and ad-hoc
networking on a mobile robot platform.
The platform would have both indoor
and outdoor capabilities. A variety of sensors, including GPS
receivers, laser range finder, gyros and wireless video, would
collect data and transmit the results to a remote user using a new
Cognitive Packet Network architecture.
Cognitive packets route
themselves and learn to avoid congestion and being lost or
destroyed. The CPN protocol is unique in the sense that it departs
from traditional packet switching networks that rely on the nodes
for routing packets.
Dr. Guy Schiavone, Assistant Professor
at IST and the Department of Computer Engineering, is lead
researcher on the project.
One of the test
platforms for IST's
autonomous robot research carries
a video camera, laser rangefinder and
Haptic applications for
multi-modal environments research
Current virtual simulations primarily
immerse the participant visually, engaging other senses in a
limited fashion. Fully realistic simulations require participants
to feel the virtual environment as well as see and hear it.
IST researches for some time have
worked on the challenge of adding the sense of touch to immersive
virtual simulations. One of the solutions, a prototype "Virtual
Environment Stimulus Tool" (VEST), provides the user a sense of
being touched or wounded.
The prototype VEST, which,
incidentally, is a sleeveless drysuit, uses 32 cellphone vibrators
installed in eight zones of four vibrators each.
Varying the vibration duration time
yields an impressive range of sensations. Users have remarked that
the VEST-provided feedback was a significant enhancement to the VR
A force feedback glove, the CyberGrasp,
also has been incorporated into the virtual environment test
scenario. The CyberGrasp is a haptic device used to provide
realistic manipulation of virtual objects. Both an input device,
providing 22 degrees of freedom covering most of the joints of the
hand, and a force feedback device, providing up to 12 Newtons of
resistance to each finger and the thumb.
The Haptic Applications for
Multi-Modal Environments Research (HAMMER) lab is planning in the
near future to integrate the VEST and CyberGrasp with the Media
Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) simulation.
The CyberGrasp force feedback glove
provides realistic manipulation of virtual objects.
IST researcher Don Washburn is point of
contact on this project.