ISPR Presence News

Author Archives: Matthew Lombard

Job: Full-time position in Robobphilosophy at Aarhus University, Denmark

Rank-Open Position (from technical assistant to postdoc) in Robotic Engineering

Research Unit for Robophilosophy, School of Culture and Society, Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University

The Research Unit for Robophilosophy at the Department of Philosophy, School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University invites applications for a three-year, full-time open position in robotic engineering, available from 1 March 2017. The position is associated with the project “What Social Robots Can and Should Do—Towards Integrative Social Robotics”, supported by the Carlsberg Foundation (Semper Ardens Grant). Junior researchers at postdoc level will be preferred, but candidates without a PhD will also be considered, provided they have suitable expertise in software and hardware development.

RESEARCH CONTEXT:

The research project “What Social Robots Can and Should Do—Towards Integrative Social Robotics” will define and implement a new paradigm for developing social robotics applications. “Integrative Social Robotics” (ISR) tightly integrates robotics research with a wide scope of research disciplines that investigate human social interactions, including empirical, conceptual and value-theoretical research in the humanities. To investigate the performance of the new method, the team will design and test several innovative social robotics applications that promote socio-cultural values and norms of personal well-being, such as fairness, authenticity, autonomy and creative self-realisation.

The successful candidate will be a member of a project team of 25 international researchers from 11 disciplines (philosophy, robotics, anthropology, psychology, linguistics, education, communication, management, cognitive science, computer science and sociology). The project is coordinated by Professor MSO Johanna Seibt at the Department of Philosophy and the History of Ideas, and will run from 2016 until 2021. For more information see:

http://www.carlsbergfondet.dk/en/Forskningsaktiviteter/Forskningsprojekter/Semper-Ardens-forskningsprojekter/Johanna-Seibt_Integrative-Social-Robotics

www.integrativerobotics.org

COMPETENCE PROFILE: Read more on Job: Full-time position in Robobphilosophy at Aarhus University, Denmark…

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HoloLamp: Portable, projector-based, glasses-free Augmented Reality

[This could be big step toward the wider adoption of AR– the story is from Tom’s Hardware where it includes several different images and a 2:44 demonstration video. –Matthew]

Introducing HoloLamp: Portable, Projector-Based, Glasses-Free Augmented Reality

by Kevin Carbotte
January 5, 2017
Source: HoloLamp

You could say that CES 2016 was the year of VR, but at CES 2017, it may be AR’s time to shine.

This year at the big show, augmented reality moves from a futuristic idea towards a tangible consumer product. Microsoft started selling its Hololens developer kits in 2016, but one of those will set you back $3000. Meta just started shipping Meta 2 developer kits to early customers. The AR HMD’s specifications lead us to believe the experience is comparable to Hololens, but with a much wider field of view. Meta pre-sold the dev kits for $949, but after the new year, the company raised the price somewhat.

At over $1,000, Meta 2, like the Vive and Rift VR headsets, is out of reach for many consumers. This is not to mention that a significant portion of the population isn’t interested in donning a bulky headset while they work and play. HoloLamp believes it has a solution for the latter problem.

“The smart glasses and headset industry have been tirelessly working to deliver a mainstream augmented reality experience, though they have been unsuccessful in developing a product that consumers actually want to wear,” said Guillaume Chican, co-founder and inventor of HoloLamp. “A headset reduces a user’s field of view and tends to be uncomfortable, whereas HoloLamp enables the user to achieve an immersive experience without having to hold or wear any equipment. The hands-free and glasses-free technology allows users to easily engage with their surroundings while using HoloLamp, making it an ideal solution for numerous business and personal environments.”

HoloLamp is a portable, self-contained, projection-based augmented reality system that fits on your desk and plugs into your PC. The HoloLamp includes a pico projector that projects a simulated holographic image onto any surface, allowing you to experience AR without a bulky headset. The system features multiple cameras that scan the projection surface topography and objects within the space. HoloLamp also uses face tracking cameras to help create the hologram illusion.

HoloLamp leverages “spatial augmented reality,” which allows the system to project images onto any surface. HoloLamp maps the surface below the projection area using advanced computer vision techniques and warps the projected image to compensate for different surface elevations and angles. The HoloLamp renders the projected image in such a way that it tricks your brain into perceiving a holographic image when you’re really looking at a flat projected image. The system also tracks the position of your face in real time to ensure that you always see the correct perspective. Read more on HoloLamp: Portable, projector-based, glasses-free Augmented Reality…

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Call: CHI PLAY 2017

CHI PLAY 2017 | CALL FOR PARTICIPATION

4th ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
October 15 – 18, 2017
CHIPLAY.org | #chiplay17

CHI PLAY is the international and interdisciplinary conference, sponsored by ACM SIGCHI, for researchers and professionals across all areas of play, games, and human-computer interaction (HCI). We call this area ‘player-computer interaction’. The goal of the CHI PLAY conference is to highlight and foster discussion on high quality research in games and HCI, as foundations for the future of digital play. To this end, the conference blends academic research papers, interactive demos, and industry case studies.

IMPORTANT DATES

Feb 1, 2017: Submissions for the SIGCHI Student Travel Grant for CHIPLAY 2017
March 3, 2017: Workshop proposals
April 14, 2017: Full papers
May 26, 2017: Course proposals
June 30, 2017: Spotlight papers, Game competition, Works-in-progress, Panels
July 14, 2017: Doctoral consortium
Game exhibition: To be announced shortly

SUBMISSIONS

As a SIGCHI-sponsored conference, CHI PLAY welcomes contributions that further an understanding of the player experience, as well as contributions on novel designs or implementations of player-computer interactions, including but not limited to the following:

  • Playful interactions and new game mechanics
  • Studies of applied games and player experiences
  • Games & Play for health
  • Games & Play for learning
  • Tangible play
  • Persuasive games
  • Games for change
  • Neurogames
  • Gamification
  • Accessible and inclusive game design
  • Advances in game user research and game evaluation methods
  • Psychology of players and game design
  • Virtual and augmented reality in games
  • Novel game controls or display technologies for games
  • Tools for game creation
  • Innovations in game design and development practices
  • Game analytics and novel visualizations of player experiences
  • Developer experiences and studies of developers
  • Industry case studies

Although CHI PLAY welcomes contributions on the effects of various technologies, software, or algorithms on player experience, technical contributions without clear indications of the impact on players or developers are not within the scope of CHI PLAY. Read more on Call: CHI PLAY 2017…

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Media attempt to evoke presence at Women’s March on Washington, D.C. and around the world

[Saturday’s historic marches on Washington, D.C. and around the world were captured in immersive 360 videos and photos by many news organizations; I’ve compiled a selection of links to them below. It’s interesting to compare the sense of presence and related impacts created by the different combinations of content and form used in these efforts to give users a sense of the experience of being there. Some of these and others are also available on YouTube (search for “women’s march on Washington 2017 360”) including C-SPAN’s 9:00 minute video (not on their website since it didn’t air). Standard format videos are available too of course, including the full 6 hours of the Washington march from ABC, and compilation videos from CNN (1:03 minutes), The Guardian (1:16), and USA Today (1:13). And of course thousands of still images are available (e.g., via Google Images). –Matthew]

[Image: Source: Slate]

Why I March: Meet the People of the Women´s March On D.C. in 360°
Listen to why they chose to take part in the Women’s March movement in this 360° video
TIME
January 21, 2017
Duration: 1:01
http://time.com/4642483/womens-march-washington-dc-360/ Read more on Media attempt to evoke presence at Women’s March on Washington, D.C. and around the world…

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Call: 2017 Australasian Simulation Congress (ASC)

Call for Submissions

2017 Australasian Simulation Congress (ASC)
Monday 28 August – Thursday 31 August 2017
International Convention Centre, Sydney, Australia
http://www.simulationcongress.com/

Online submissions close: Wednesday 22 March 2017

The Organising Committee is pleased to announce the Call for Submissions for the 2nd Annual Australasian Simulation Congress (ASC), hosted by Simulation Australasia (SimAust), the national body for those working in simulation throughout Australasia.

The ASC will once again bring together the SimHealth, SimTecT and Serious Games streams, along with opportunities for a number of joint sessions of mutual interest.

The 2017 Australasian Simulation Congress will explore the theme of People Energising Innovation.

At its heart, every application of simulation is ultimately about people – whether it is enabling individuals or teams to achieve peak performance, or solving problems in infrastructure that will improve the lives of millions of people. As a simulation community, we need to ensure we understand the impact of what we do on the people that interact with, or are affected by, our simulations.

We invite you to share how your simulation-based initiatives are impacting on how we operate as a simulation community, and the improved outcomes for the people who make use of your work. We would like to hear of innovations in your work in simulation, using simulation in new and innovative ways, or using new tools, techniques or technologies to extend or improve the impact of simulation.

In addition, this year we also want to be immersed in the work being undertaken focusing on sustainability of simulation-based education and research, certification and accreditation processes and quality initiatives as these will drive our profession moving forward. Read more on Call: 2017 Australasian Simulation Congress (ASC)…

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TSA team works to ensure inauguration safety with library of ‘virtual’ sites

[The U.S. Transportation Security Administration is creating a “vast catalogue” of detailed, 360 degree virtual versions of Washington area sites – “think of it as virtual reality that allows you to travel through any transportation asset as if you were there”; this story is from The Washington Post. –Matthew]

[Image: A construction worker looks at scaffolding being put up Jan. 11, 2017, near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington as part of a stage to be used in the inauguration festivities for President-elect Donald Trump. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)]

TSA team works to ensure inauguration safety with library of ‘virtual’ sites

By Lori Aratani
January 14

For nearly a week in November, Jim Bamberger and his crew of six spent their days and some of their nights photographing every square inch of Dulles International Airport.

Runways. Restrooms. Stairwells. Click. Click. Click.

Within a month, the thousands of images they captured over 55 hours were stitched together to recreate a 360-degree virtual version of Dulles. It was another entry in a vast catalogue of important Washington-area sites that the Transportation Security Administration has put together to help officials with the massive security effort surrounding Inauguration Day.

The files offer officials a bird’s-eye view of landmarks such as Union Station, as well as all 91 Metrorail stations, enabling them to identify potential trouble spots and coordinate how they might respond to an incident. Some agencies also use the collection as a training tool for personnel who may not be familiar with particular buildings or rail stations.

“Think of it as virtual reality that allows you to travel through any transportation asset as if you were there,” said Bamberger, a risk specialist with the TSA, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security. Read more on TSA team works to ensure inauguration safety with library of ‘virtual’ sites…

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Job: Faculty position in Mixed and Augmented Reality at Graz University of Technology

Opening: University Assistant with Doctorate, with Tenure Track to Position as Associate Professor
Working area: Mixed and Augmented Reality
Graz University of Technology, Austria

End of application period: 18 Feb 2017

This fulltime employment position (40h/week) is initially restricted to six years and offers the possibility of a qualification agreement for a tenured position. The employment is expected to start on May 1, 2017, and will be part of the Institute of Computer Graphics and Vision (http://www.icg.tu-graz.ac.at/).

The position requires a completed PhD degree in computer science or a similar field.

We expect the following qualifications:

  • Excellent scientific qualification in Mixed Reality and Augmented Reality (MR/AR), especially computer graphics and visualization methods for MR/AR and 3D user interfaces for MR/AR
  • International scientific publications
  • Experience with acquisition, management and scientific supervision of research projects
  • Experience in establishing a research group
  • Track record of scientific achievements, such as international prizes or awards
  • Teaching experience in relevant subjects
  • Network in the scientific community

Your job will involve the following duties:

  • Research on MR/AR, with the goal to earn international scientific reputation and visibility
  • Top-level international publications
  • Acquisition of third party funding for research (FFG, FWF, industrial projects)
  • Supervision of bachelor and master theses and support in the supervision of PhD students
  • Independent teaching in the bachelor and master program and introducing students to the world of visual computing
  • Service in the academic administration

Read more on Job: Faculty position in Mixed and Augmented Reality at Graz University of Technology…

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New brain-controlled Teleport robot lets physically challenged see the world

[As this story from New Atlas points out, key benefits of the new Teleport telepresence robot are its simplicity and affordability; the original story includes a gallery of 7 pictures and the video mentioned at the end. In coverage in the Brisbane Times (which includes another video), Teleport creator Marita Cheng is quoted as saying “It gives you much more freedom and mobility, it makes you feel like you are there… People who have used our robots say it is 100 per cent more immersive than what they thought it would be. I guess if you look at the product it is just a screen on some wheels but when you actually use it and you can explore for yourself a location that is thousands of kilometres away, that is when you begin to understand how rewarding it is to be in two places at once.” –Matthew]

[Image: The Teleport uses a simple off-the-shelf brain control interface to improve the lives of those with motor disabilities (Credit: Aubot)]

Brain-controlled robot lets physically challenged see the world

Lisa-Ann Lee
January 16th, 2017

For those with severe motor disabilities, mind-controlled prostheses have long offered a sliver of hope that they might one day be able to regain some semblance of autonomy. While we’ve seen numerous examples of such prostheses over the years, most involve brain surgery and are still not ready for commercialization. As scientists continue to tinker with neuro circuits, Melbourne-based startup Aubot has skipped past all these complications to launch the Teleport, the world’s first commercially available telepresence robot that can be controlled by thought.

The idea behind Teleport, is simple enough: to allow people to be in two places at once, as is the case with other telepresence devices. While there are numerous corporate and industrial settings in which it can be employed (Aubot’s biggest customers at the moment are corporate companies and museums), some of its most interesting uses lie in the elderly and healthcare sectors. Read more on New brain-controlled Teleport robot lets physically challenged see the world…

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Call: Journal of Posthuman Studies (and Beyond Humanism Conference)

Journal of Posthuman Studies: Philosophy, Technology, Media (Penn State Univ Press)

Penn State University Press will publish issue 1 of the newly established “Journal of Posthuman Studies: Philosophy, Technology, Media” in 2017. The initial 2 issues will include invited papers only. It is already possible to submit your papers, which you can do via the following website:
http://www.psupress.org/Journals/jnls_JPHS.html

The “Journal of Posthuman Studies” will be presented officially during the 9th Beyond Humanism Conference which will take place at John Cabot University in Rome [on the 20th of July until the 22nd of July 2017; abstracts due April 1 –ML]. It will be dedicated to the topic “Posthuman Studies”:
http://beyondhumanism.org/

Here is also some further information about the journal:

The Journal of Posthuman Studies is a fully peer reviewed, multidisciplinary journal developed to analyze what it is to be human in an age of rapid technological, scientific, cultural and social evolution. As the boundaries between human and ‘the other’, technological, biological and environmental, are eroded and perceptions of normalcy are challenged, they have generated a range of ethical, philosophical, cultural, and artistic questions that this journal seeks to address. Drawing on theory from critical posthumanism and the normative reflections of transhumanism, it encourages constructive but rigorously critical dialogue through discussion papers, forums, and a carefully curated balance of research articles. The journal publishes papers on issues such as the consequences of enhancement, especially bioenhancement, transhumanist, and posthumanist accounts of “the human,” and any and all ways in which they impact culture and society. The journal encourages submissions from a range of disciplines such as: philosophy, sociology, literary studies, cultural studies, critical theory, media studies, bioethics, medical ethics, anthropology, religious studies, disability studies, gender studies, queer studies, critical animal studies, environmental studies, and the visual arts.

Editors in Chief
Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, John Cabot University, Italy
James Hughes, University of Massachusetts, Boston, United States Read more on Call: Journal of Posthuman Studies (and Beyond Humanism Conference)…

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Carrie Fisher’s death renews questions about digital re-creation

[Another example of the need to consider the ethics of presence; this story is from CNN. –Matthew]

[Image: Leia (Carrie Fisher) is no longer a ‘Princess, going by ‘General’ in “The Force Awakens.”]

Carrie Fisher’s death renews questions about digital re-creation

By Brian Lowry, CNN
January 16, 2017

Carrie Fisher’s death was a jolt to the broad community of “Star Wars” fans. But it could help spark a necessary and overdue conversation about what might be called digital etiquette, and the practice of using computer-generated imagery to re-create and manipulate the likenesses of dead actors.

Last week Lucasfilm responded to rumors that Fisher’s “Star Wars” character could be digitally inserted into future movies, issuing a statement that read, “We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally re-create Carrie Fisher’s performance as Princess or General Leia Organa.”

The company added that it intended to “cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything” she contributed to the franchise.

The announcement sounded appropriate, and even felt like something of a relief, especially given Fisher’s often-caustic views about Hollywood and celebrity, including the indignities associated with her “Star Wars” fame along with the perks.

Still, the late Peter Cushing’s presence in “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” as well as other instances of technology employed in that fashion, has understandably fueled discussion about what happens if a performer should die unexpectedly, as well as the ethics of replicating them from beyond the grave. Read more on Carrie Fisher’s death renews questions about digital re-creation…

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