The Perception Engineering research group focuses on fundamental issues in virtual reality and robotics. We consider virtual reality broadly as a category that leverages the latest technologies and products in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and telepresence. We consider core robotics problems such as sensing, sensor fusion, planning, learning, and control.
We view VR as a problem of perception engineering, which requires the design, development, and delivery of a perceptual illusion through artificial stimulation of the human senses. Each human sense is capable of such illusions; in the case of vision, we are familiar with many optical illusions. Because VR directly impacts the human body and even disrupts its ordinary functions, it is crucial to understand human physiology, neuroscience, and perception and how they respond to VR technology. We strive to determine perception-based and physiology-based criteria that capture important qualities such as task effectiveness, comfort, and presence. These criteria are used to guide the engineering specifications for VR systems. Typical challenges are viewpoint movement, display artifacts, rendering methods, interaction mechanisms, distributed computation, and limitations of wireless communication.
Perception engineering involves the forward engineering of VR systems with the tight integration of low-level human considerations, which are essentially obtained via reverse engineering (we did not engineer ourselves). Based on current academic fields, this requires a highly interdisciplinary approach; however, one day perception engineers might emerge, who are specifically trained in methodologies based on the science of perception. This would follow a similar path as existing engineering fields. Civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering derive from physics. Chemical and biological engineering derive from chemistry and biology, respectively. Likewise, perception engineering should derive from perceptual psychology and related fields of physiology, medicine, and neuroscience, while also building upon existing engineering principles.
CHiMP – Challenges Hidden in Motion Primitives (Academy of Finland)
HUMOR – HUMan Optimized xR (Business Finland and industry)
ILLUSIVE – Foundations of Perception Engineering (European Research Council)
PERCEPT – Human-Perception Based Planning and Filtering (Academy of Finland)
PIXIE – Plausibility Paradoxes in Scaled-Down Virtual Reality (Academy of Finland)
ViRTIA – Virtual Reality-Based Telepresence through Improved Autonomy (University of Oulu / Infotech)
COMBAT (Academy of Finland / Strategic Research Council)
HUMORcc (Business Finland)
TELETAPPIcc (Business Finland)
Arora N, Suomalainen M, Pouke M, Center EG, Mimnaugh KJ, Chambers AP, Pouke S & LaValle SM (2022) Augmenting immersive telepresence experience with a virtual body. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 28(5):2135-2145. https://doi.org/10.1109/TVCG.2022.3150473.
Pakanen M, Alavesa P, van Berkel N, Koskela T & Ojala T (2022) “Nice to see you virtually”: Thoughtful design and evaluation of virtual avatar of the other user in AR and VR based telexistence systems. Entertainment Computing 40:100457. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.entcom.2021.100457
Suomalainen M, Sakcak B, Widagdo A, Kalliokoski J, Mimnaugh KJ, Chambers AP, Ojala T & LaValle SM (2022) Unwinding rotations improves user comfort with immersive telepresence robots. ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI 2022), Sapporo, Japan, in press.
Mimnaugh KJ, Suomalainen M, Becerra I, Lozano E, Murrieta-Cid R & LaValle SM (2021) Analysis of user preferences for robot motions in immersive telepresence. Proc. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2021), Prague, Czech Republic, 4252-4259. https://doi.org/10.1109/IROS51168.2021.9636852
Nilles AQ, Ren Y, Becerra I & LaValle SM (2021) A visibility-based approach to computing nondeterministic bouncing strategies. The International Journal of Robotics Research 40(10-11):1196-1211. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0278364921992788
Pouke M, Mimnaugh KJ, Chambers A, Ojala T & Lavalle SM (2021) The plausibility paradox for resized users in virtual environments. Frontiers in Virtual Reality 2:655744. https://doi.org/10.3389/frvir.2021.655744
Sakçak B & LaValle SM (2021) Complete path planning that simultaneously optimizes length and clearance. Proc. 2021 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA 2021), Xi’an, China, 10100-10106. https://doi.org/10.1109/ICRA48506.2021.9561784
Alavesa P, Pakanen M, Ojala T, Pouke M, Kukka H, Samodelkin A, Voroshilov A & Abdellatif M (2020) Embedding virtual environments into the physical world: Memorability and co-presence in the context of pervasive location-based games. Multimedia Tools and Applications 79, 3285–3309. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11042-018-7077-z.
Becerra I, Suomalainen M, Lozano E, Mimnaugh KJ, Murrieta-Cid R & LaValle SM (2020) Human perception-optimized planning for comfortable VR-based telepresence. IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters 5(4):6489-6496. https://doi.org/10.1109/LRA.2020.3015191
Browning MHEM, Mimnaugh KJ, van Riper CJ, Laurent HK & LaValle SM (2019) Can simulated nature support health? Comparing short, single-doses of 360-degree nature videos in virtual reality with the outdoors. Frontiers in Psychology 10:2667. https://dx.doi.org/10.3389%2Ffpsyg.2019.02667
Pakanen M, Alavesa P, Arhippainen L & Ojala T (2020) Stepping out of the classroom – Anticipated user experiences of web-based mirror world like virtual campus. International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments 10(1):1-23. https://doi.org/10.4018/IJVPLE.2020010101.
Pouke M, Mimnaugh K, Ojala T & LaValle SM (2020) The plausibility paradox for scaled-down users in virtual environments. Proc. 2020 IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (IEEE VR 2020), Atlanta, GA, USA, 913-921. https://doi.org/10.1109/VR46266.2020.00014
Suomalainen M, Nilles AQ & LaValle SM (2020) Virtual Reality for Robots. Proc. 2020 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS 2020), Las Vegas, NV, USA, 11458-11465. https://doi.org/10.1109/IROS45743.2020.9341344
Ylipulli J, Pouke M, Luusua A & Ojala T (2020) From hybrid spaces to “imagination cities”: A speculative approach to virtual reality. In: Willis KS & Aurigi A (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Smart Cities, Routledge, London. https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Companion-to-Smart-Cities/Willis-Aurigi/p/book/9781138036673