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UCSIM Participates in CCHMC Pediatric Grand Rounds – “Virtual Reality is Changing the Healthcare Game: The State of the Art at Cincinnati Children’s”

On Tuesday, February 21, 2017, UCSIM participated in the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Pediatric Grand Rounds to showcase and demo the Sports Medicine Division’s “Real-Time Sensorimotor Feedback for Injury Prevention Assessed in Virtual Reality,” project to implement and test fully-immersive virtual reality environments to assess sport-specific training improvements.

Cincinnati Children’s has a robust group of practitioners exploring the benefits of virtual reality for clinical practice.  Watch the full video:

Speakers include:

  • Landscape of Virtual Reality – Dan McLinden, EdD, Senior Director, Learning & Development – Overview of virtual and augmented reality applications in clinical practice.
  • Virtual environments and the future of simulation – Aimee Gardner, CP. Director, Center for Simulations & Research – Highlights advances in high fidelity mannequin simulation technology mixed with virtual reality.
  • A Virtual Reality Curriculum for Pediatric Residents Decreases Rates of Influenza Vaccine Refusal – Joe Real, MD, Community & General Pediatrics – Outcomes of a study using virtual reality curriculum to train pediatric residents to talk with families about the flu shot to reduce vaccine refusal.
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality: The Future of Sport Injury Prevention and Recovery – Adam Kiefer, PhD, Asst. Professor, Division of Sport Medicine – Preliminary results of trial using wireless, room-scale VR for female athlete ACL injury prevention and overview of augmented reality application of sport injury prevention training.

UCSIM is developing interactive soccer, basketball, and volleyball scenarios for student athletes that fully integrates with the CCHMC TEAM VR lab, Motion Analysis and Cortex system, and custom HMD system.  For more information about the project, see the CCHMC TEAM VR – VIRTUAL REALITY SPORTS SCENARIOS project page.

HTC Vive demonstration

Applications Now Being Accepted for Advanced Virtual & Augmented Reality Workshop Series

Applications Now Being Accepted for Advanced Virtual & Augmented Reality Workshop Series

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Faculty are invited to apply to attend the UCSIM Advanced Virtual & Augmented Reality Workshops to learn more about authoring immersive content for teaching and research.  Five (5) faculty participants will be selected to attend each workshop series, which consists of two, 2-hour sessions held at the UCSIM | Center for Simulations & Virtual Environments Research in University Hall, including:

  • November/December 2016
    Authoring Augmented Reality Content for Android & iOS
    Learn how to develop your own mobile app using Vuforia and the Unity Development engine to create interactive augmented reality models that students can view with a smartphone or tablet.
  • February/March 2017
    Authoring Virtual Reality Content with Unity 5
    This workshop introduces how to use the Unity 5 Development engine to create basic virtual reality experiences.  Participants in this workshop will receive an Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) HeadMounted Display (HMD), an XBox One controller, and a Leap Motion gesture controller. 
  • April/May 2017
    Creating Gesture Controls with Leap Motion
    The movie Minority Report popularized the notion of using your hands to control computer interfaces, and in this workshop, you will discover how to use the Leap Motion controller to create your own hand mapping gestures and interfaces.  Participants of this workshop will receive a Leap Motion controller.

In addition, the workshops will include printed guides with instructions for installing, using, and developing basic content for the corresponding immersive technology covered in each workshop. Funding for the equipment to be granted to faculty participants of the workshop series was provided by the Office of the Provost through the Faculty Development Funds for Universal Providers program.

Applications are due by 5:oo PM EST on November 15, 2016.  Accepted applicants will be notified by email.

For more information, read the full application instructions and apply today!

YeOldeVR

NSF Science Node: Making Virtual Reality Work – Interview with UCSIM’s Chris Collins and Ben Fineman, Internet2

Making virtual reality work

Speed read
  • VR accessibility on the rise — 12 million head-mounted displays shipping this year.
  • Internet2 provides the high-speed network bandwidth required for VR collaboration.
  • Metaverse working group is leading the effort to establish VR standards and interoperability.

When we last spoke to Chris Collins and Ben Fineman about their favorite topic, Virtual Reality (VR), we learned the technology was finally beginning to hit its stride.

We caught up with them at the Internet2 Global Summit in Chicago to see what’s developed in the VR space, and what Internet2 and the Metaverse Working Group are doing to advance the technology.


What is the latest and greatest in VR?

Ben: In 2016, manufacturers project they will ship 12.2 million head-mounted displays (HMDs), so that kind of availability of a high quality, VR immersive experience is what’s different today. User-developed content is also now available in the ‘wild,’ and we are starting to see more polished virtual reality applications coming out.

On the cutting edge of things, the augmented space continues to heat up. We see more HoloLens demos from Microsoft which starts to get to the collaborative promise that we have been talking about for a while.

What is driving the surge in VR popularity?

Chris: With the commoditization of cell phone components, things have gotten smaller, lighter, cheaper, faster, and that’s really driving the price range of these head-mounted displays (HMD) to something that’s more consumer friendly—instead of $15,000 it costs $500.

<strong>Surge projection. </strong> Industry experts expect over 12 million head mounted displays will ship this year. Courtesy KZero.

We are seeing so much more competition, so I’m really excited because I think we’ll get better technology, and I think that’s very good for the ecosystem. Bringing the hardware price point down means we can afford to bring it into the classroom and the laboratories on campuses so that we can democratize the creation of the content.

 

Read the full interview on ScienceNode.org.

The University of Cincinnati UCSIM | Center for Simulations & Virtual Environments Research team hosts representatives of the Paul W. and E. Carole Schafer Foundation for Centriolar Research, Micro Photonics Inc., and UC researchers. May 9, 2016, Cincinnati, OH.

UCSIM Demos Augmented Reality Application for Centriolar Research

UCSIM Demos Augmented Reality Application for Centriolar Research

The University of Cincinnati UCSIM | Center for Simulations & Virtual Environments Research team hosts representatives of the Paul W. and E. Carole Schafer Foundation for Centriolar Research, Micro Photonics Inc., and UC researchers. May 9, 2016, Cincinnati, OH.

Figure 1. The University of Cincinnati UCSIM | Center for Simulations & Virtual Environments Research team hosts representatives of the Paul W. and E. Carole Schafer Foundation for Centriolar Research, Micro Photonics Inc., and UC researchers. May 9, 2016, Cincinnati, OH.

Earlier this week, the UCSIM | Center for Simulations & Virtual Environments Research hosted the Honorable Bardyl Tirana of the Paul W. and E. Carole Schafer Foundation for Centriolar Research, UC CEAS Emeritus Professor, Dr. Ron Huston, PhD, P.E., Dr. Roger Adelman, PhD., P.E. of Impact Technologies, KY, and Ben Ache, Product Manager at Micro Photonics Inc. to demonstrate virtual and augmented reality technology as a means for scientific visualization and communication.

Student programmer William Burke (UC Blue Ash ’19) demonstrates UCSIM’s prototype Centriole augmented reality application to Hon. Tirana and B. Ache.

Figure 2. Student programmer William Burke (UC Blue Ash ’19) demonstrates UCSIM’s prototype Centriole augmented reality application to the Hon. Bardyl Tirana and Ben Ache.

UCSIM is developing a prototype augmented reality application for the foundation, envisioned as a portable means of disseminating the nature of centriole microtubule assembly, with the overarching goal of promoting a theory of the role that the centriole may play in cancer tumor formation.

Half a century ago, thoracic surgeon Paul W. Schafer, MD., believed that the centriole, which was barely visible in light microscopy, was different from all other organelles. He advanced electron micrographic studies that suggested the centrioles had inter-cellular order, i.e., that they might have communication or “force at a distance” interaction.

Figure 2. Cross section of EM slide from Dr. Schafer, archived by Christy M. Caudill, Res. Assoc.

Figure 3. Cross section of EM slide from Dr. Schafer, archived by Christy M. Caudill, Res. Assoc.

 

The foundation created in his name is now carrying on his research by developing computerized models of the centriole, which form the basis for extending the traditional “in-vivo” and “in-vitro” biological experimentation into “in-silica” i.e. graphic models for high-level analytical modeling of electro-magnetic fields, thermal fields, and other “fields” previously invisible to biological experimentation.

The centriole is a particularly interesting subject for UCSIM’s visualization techniques using virtual and augmented reality, because it is known that the centriole’s functionality and reproduction are not adequately described biochemically. Its electromagnetic attributes dominate, and may not lend themselves to description via traditional life-science research methods.

Figure 4. Representation of a mother-daughter centriole pair in Solid Works, R. Adelman.

Figure 4. Representation of a mother-daughter centriole pair in Solid Works, R. Adelman.

Schafer demonstrated that the centriole, unlike other organelles, is sensitive to disruption of its normalcy in the presence of a strong magnetic field, and that such disruption resembles the disruption seen in all cancerous tissue.  With this phase 1 augmented reality prototype, UCSIM is enabling this interdisciplinary team of scientists to effectively disseminate their hypothesis regarding the centriole’s potential role in cancer tumor formation.  Future collaboration with the UCSIM team promises to explore the interaction of the centriole in the virtual cell.

The American Cancer Society reports in its “Cancer Facts and Figures 2015” that nearly 600,000 Americans will die of cancer this year, or 1,620 per day.[1] Only second to heart disease, it is a leading cause of death in the US and worldwide, and even with declining cancer associated mortalities and morbidities, the economic impact of cancer in the US is projected to reach $172.8 billion by 2018.[2]

“There are few of us whose lives have not been touched by cancer,” said Chris Collins, UCSIM Technical Lead, “So we are very excited to use these new visualization techniques to help extend Dr. Schafer’s research.”

[1] http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@editorial/documents/document/acspc-044552.pdf

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3191884/pdf/nihms319751.pdf

Figure 1. Back Row: Roger Adelman, Honorable Bardyl Tirana, Ron Huston, Ian Anderson, Jane Combs. Front Row: Ben Ache, Jennifer Adelman, Chris Collins, Janusia Figueiredo, William Burke. Photo credit:  Amy Latessa

UCSIM Team photo

UCSIM Featured in #InTheKnow Newsletter

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The UCSIM | Center for Simulations & Virtual Environments Research was recently featured in the UCIT Staff Council’s March #InTheKnow Newsletter.  The newsletter will begin profiling teams and groups within the University of Cincinnati Information Technologies (UCIT) department to encourage a broader understanding of the diverse range of services the department provides.

See the full March #InTheKnow newsletter here!

tower defence game in development

Research Project: Distance Perception Eye Accommodation Detection Using Variable Distance Virtual Software

The UCSIM | Center for Simulations & Virtual Environments Research is excited to collaborate with Dr. Joseph Clark in the UC Athletics – Baseball department on a new project.  The UC Athletics Department has requested development of prototype research software to measure distance perception eye accommodation in student athletes and collect preliminary data in preparation to solicit funding for further research and development.  The goal of the research project is to determine baseline distance perception performance and ultimately improve athletic performance outcomes. 

For more information, visit the project page.

Screenshot "Virtual Counselor" Cognitive Support System

“Virtual Counselor” Cognitive Support System

The UCSIM | Center for Simulations & Virtual Environments Research recently partnered with Dr. George Richardson in the CECH-Human Services department on a funding proposal that was awarded to develop a working prototype “Virtual Counselor” Cognitive Support System mobile application.

The Virtual Counselor (VC) is a novel computer program that enables users to achieve behavioral change by providing experiential learning via realistic simulations that engage users in cost-effective and safe virtual environments. The VC stands apart from existing computer-based educational and treatment applications because it is content-neutral and applicable to a very broad range of health-relevant behaviors. In addition, the VC outputs graphical depictions of client cognition that can enhance client-professional counselor communication and inform clinical decisions.

For more information, see the project page.