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Vision and Haptics Laboratory: People

Head of Vision and Haptics Laboratory

Associate Prof. Peter Scarfe

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Position: Associate Professor in Psychology, Head of the Vision and Haptics Laboratory.

Biography: After completing my PhD at the University of St. Andrews on the use of horizontal disparity for perception and visuo-motor control, I was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, USA), the Max Plank Institute for Biological Cybernetics (Tübingen, Germany), University College London (UCL), and Cambridge University. During this time I worked on perceptual learning, vision and haptics, motion integration, and free will. In 2013 I moved to the University of Reading as a post-doc working with virtual reality, before being promoted to lecturer in August 2015, when I founded in the Vision and Haptics Lab. In August 2021 I was promoted to Associate Professor. 

Researchers

Prof. William Harwin

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Position: Professor of Interactive Systems and lead technologist in haptics at the UKAEA RACE

Biography: William is based in the School of Biomedical Engineering. His research is focused on understanding the mathematics and engineering of interacting systems. His general research interests are in haptic interactions, rehabilitation robotics, wearable sensors and dynamic models of animals and cells. Specific interests include haptics in skills training and education, design and stability of exoskeletons, wearable sensors for long term analysis of health, reach and grasps in humans, and mechanodynamics in cells. He is a director of the start-up company Generic Robotics Ltd. that is exploring haptic applications in medicine and dentistry. Much of the labs work is in collaboration with Williams lab and leverages the benefits of combining expertise across Psychology, Engineering and Industry. 

Dr. Alastair Barrow

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Position: Industrial Collaborator and Honorary Lab Member

Biography: Ally is an Honorary Lab member and CEO of Generic Robotics. Generic Robotics provide the lab with the awesome TOIA middleware for Unreal Engine which allows world-leading high-fidelity haptic simulation within Unreal, including soft-body mechanics. Ally has been leading the integration of TOIA with the Matrix and will be collaborating closely with the labs future research. You can find Ally’s LinkedIn profile here.  

Jake Tomaszewski

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Position: Research Collaborator

Biography: Jake is currently doing a MSc in robotics at Imperial College London. He was previously a research officer employed on the labs RAIN Hub grant examining the perceptual optimisation of visual-haptic telepresence systems. Jake is working with the lab in commisioning and calibrating the Matrix Device in Unreal Engine anf TOIA. Jake gained a First Class Honours in Biomedical Engineering  from the University of Reading. You can find Jake on LinkedIn here.

PhD Students

Nina Jane Patel

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Position: PhD student.

Biography: Nina's research is supported by the Wilkie Calvert Studentship in partnership with Kabuni Ventures. As the Director of Wellness, Arts & Culture for Kabuni, Nina leads the vision to create immersive content for the future. Nina is investigating the health and wellness implications of emergent technology focusing on non-gaming VR and related wearable technologies. You can fin Nina on LinkedIn here. Nina is co-supervised by Dr. Juliane Honisch.

Rea Gill

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Position: PhD Student

Biography: Rea's PhD is focused upon understanding the perceptual optimisation of visual-haptic telepresence systems, particularly the roll of transformed between visual and haptic workspaces using the matrix. Rea's PhD is funded jointly by SeNSS and EUROfusion. The project is co-supervised and involves close collaboration with RACE. You can find Rea on LinkedIn here. Rea gained a first class degree in Psychology from the University of West of England and a MSc in mental health studies from Kings College London.

Anantha Sivasubramaniam

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Position: PhD student.

Biography: Anand is based at the University of Reading Malaysia campus. Anand's research is focused on the multisensory factors that affect the feeling of ownership in the rubber hand illusion. Anand is co-supervised with Rachel Pye and Andreas Kalckert at the University of Skövde.

Dan Norman

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Position: PhD student.

Biography: Dan's PhD is focused on the degien of a bi-manual visual-haptic workstation. The system uses custom built haptic robotic devices with a Oculus VR headset. This project is based in William Harwins Lab in the School of Biological Sciences.

Sarra Bouabdeli

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Position: PhD student.

Biography: Sarra's research is exploring the way in which perceptual / sensory experiance in AR / VR can be used to create common ground between agenets. For example, empathy and what it is like to be "in another persons shoes". Sarra's primary supervisor is John Preston in the Department of Philosophy.

Ali Altun

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Position: PhD student (Jan 2023 Entry).

Biography: Ali will start in the lab in January (2023). Ali's PhD will be focused on how the human sensory system integrates information from vision and touch in virtual reality telepresence systems. This is part of the labs ongoing work with the matrix

MSc and UG Students

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Harry Sullivan

Harry is a final year undergraduate student who is working as a research assistant in the lab. Harrys primary project is focused on understanding how binocular visual cues contribute to the internal representation of faces – in particular the nature of “holistic” face processing. This project is in collaboration with Dr Katie Gray.

Alumni: PhD

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Dr. Aaran Reader

Aaran was a PhD student in the lab. His primary supervisor was Dr. Nick Holmes (University of Nottingham). Aarans work is focused on the representation of the body, kinematics and social interaction. He uses behavioural methodologies in conjunction with techniques such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). Aaran is now a lecturer at the University of Stirling where he leads the Self/Other Lab.

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Dr. Mark Adams

Mark was a PhD student in the lab. Mark’s primary supervisor was Prof. Andrew Glennerster and co-second supervisor Prof. William Harwin. Marks PhD research focused on how sensory information from vision and touch is integrated to localise objects in the world. The research utilised immersive virtual reality and haptic robotics. Mark is now a Postdoctoral Researcher in Psychology at the University of Reading.

Alumni: MSc and UG

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Carmen Tinning

Carmen's research examined the impact of altered transforms (e.g. between visual, proprioceptive and haptic workspaces) on the performance of "humans in the control loop" for remote operations. This is was part of the labs RAIN Hub grant and RACE.

Ross Harrington

Biography: Ross' research examined the relative potency of “subliminal priming” to bias a persons free choices (which has been used as evidence for the absence of “free will”) and the ability to predict a persons free choice on one trail of an experiment based upon examining their previous responses. The aim was to examine, if we are wanting to predict behaviour which metric should be use, and is this evidence that people do not have free will?

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