Advances in virtual reality, 3-dimensional modeling and visualization have led to the proliferation of a range of highly flexible software tools for the creation and manipulation of a virtual world. While the quality of the synthetic environment is impressive, the resulting scenarios are primarily virtual and pre-defined for the purpose of visualization. For the most part they lack a connection to the real-world, to which the user(s) may wish to react and remotely execute a task in real-time. Creating a virtual environment that matches exactly the real environment and constantly updating it in real time though sensors constituted a new approach for efficient collaboration between humans and remotely located robots.
The talk will explore this novel approach illustrating it through three main research projects applied to different fields: virtual tele-robotics system built at the University of Paris VI, tele-rehabilitation interface developed at Rutgers University, and virtual tele-conferencing interface created at Avaya Labs. The talk will also briefly introduce some innovative mechatronics devices developed at Rutgers University.