Royal Society Summer Exhibition
Between July 4th and 11th 2016 I took part in the Royal Society Summer Exhibition running a virtual reality comet experience at "The Comet Revealed: Rosetta and Philae at Comet 67P". This allowed members of the public to see Comet 67P, the Rosetta spacecraft and Philae in virtual reality. The VR experience was extremely popular throughout the whole week. More information available here.
Royal Society Grant Accepted
A matter of days after our British Academy grant success, the Royal Society contacted us to inform us that our grant to study "Sensitivity to object depth in three-dimensional visual haptic environments" has been accepted. The project is in collaboration with Prof. Paul Hibbard at the University of Essex and will look at how depth judgements are made from vision and touch in highly realistic 3D scenes consisting of laser scans of real-word objects.
British Academy Grant Accepted
Our British Academy grant on "The role of material appearance in multisensory perception" has been accepted. The project will look at how cues are combined from vision and touch for judging (a) material categories such as "wood", "metal" and "plastic", and (b) physical properties such as surface orientation. We will model this process in a Bayesian causal inference framework.
Inaugural Lecture of Prof. Paul Hibbard
A picture from earlier in the year when I went to Essex to see my PhD supervisor Prof. Paul Hibbard give his inaugural professorial lecture. Was fantastic to see this word cloud of people who Paul has published with. Was a great moment.
Talk at the University of Michigan
Talk title: Bias and optimality in sensory cue combination. Two topics my work has focused on for a while now.
Artifice versus realism as an experimental methodology
Fantastic turnout for my symposium at this years Vision Sciences Society (VSS) meeting in Florida (May 13th - 18th 2016).
"How do we make valid inferences about brain and behaviour based on experiments using stimuli and tasks that are extremely well characterized, but bare little resemblance to the real world? Is this even a problem? This symposium will bring together leading researchers who have taken differing approaches to striking a balance between the experimental control of “artifice” and the ecological validity of “realism”. The aim is to provoke debate about how best to study perception and action, and ask whether a fundamental shift is needed for us to truly understand the brain".
Speakers: Tony Movshon (NYU), David Brainard (UPenn), Roland Fleming (University of Giessen), Johannes Burge (UPenn), Jenny Read (University of Newcastle), and Wendy Adams (University of Southamption).
More details can be found here.
Virtual Reality Master-class
I was recently an invited panellist at a virtual reality master-class run by the British Interactive Media Association held at ’Second Home' in Shoreditch, London. The event brought together leaders from academia and industry to discuss current state of the art uses of VR.
Other members of the panel were:
Will D McMaster - Head of VR for Visualise.
Conan Kinnear - Head of Mobility at Samsung Electronics UK.
Andy Hood - Head of Emerging Technologies at AKQA.
Juan Herrada - Head of Marketing and Communications for South Africa Tourism.
A highlights video can be seen below. For a full podcast of the event click here.
The BBC recently came and filmed me for a CBBC program about virtual reality. The aim of the program is to encourage more children to become interested in science, technology and coding, as part of the governments policy. Click here for a link to the program, and see below for a short clip from the program, where I am talking about future applications of virtual reality and haptic robotics.
Robotics Course Filming
I was recently filmed for a online "Begin Robotics" course run by the University of Reading. The course is free to talk and is available on the Future Learn website. In the two clips below I discuss how we are combining immersive virtual reality and haptic robotics to study multi-sensory integration. This work is in collaboration with the Virtual Reality Lab in the Dept. of Psychology (Prof. Andrew Glennerster) and the Haptic Robotics Lab in the Dept. of Systems Engineering (Prof. William Harwin).