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UT Dallas researchers pushing the boundaries of virtual reality
Date:2/5/2013

ovide feedback. For example, touching a virtual stone with a haptic device would feel hard, while touching a virtual sponge would provide less feedback and feel more pliable.

If both doctor and patient have haptic devices in his or her physical environment, the applied force can be sent to the other person. A doctor could feel the strength of a patient's muscle, for example.

"Each device sends lots of data and combining that information in real time is a big challenge," Prabhakaran said.

Prabhakaran has expertise in multimedia systems and using haptic devices in real time.

Teleoperation and Control

Anyone who has used a service such as Skype has likely experienced a delay in communication suddenly words get lost or are slow to transmit. A similar effect could happen with haptic devices.

"We absolutely do not want instability," Prabhakaran said.

Dr. Mark W. Spong, dean of the Jonsson School and holder of the Lars Magnus Ericsson Chair in Electrical Engineering and the Excellence in Education Chair, is a leading researcher in control and teleoperation operating of machines at a distance. He is developing techniques to eliminate instability in communicating the data from the haptic devices over the network.

3-D Data Compression

To minimize the amount of data that needs to be exchanged, sophisticated algorithms need to be created. That's where Dr. Xiaohu Guo, associate professor of computer science at UT Dallas and a project co-principal investigator, comes in. He's an expert in computer graphics, animation and modeling.

Guo is refining techniques to not only allow the data between haptic devices to be transmitted over the network more efficiently, but also creating 3-D visual images of original movements in real time.

"We do not only want the person to be moving the device, we want them to have a visual feel of what the movement is causing," Prabhakaran
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Contact: LaKisha Ladson
lakisha.ladson@UTDallas.edu
972-883-4183
University of Texas at Dallas
Source:Eurekalert

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