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MPI Research and Avatars Walking in Virtual Reality


Mohler,  B
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Mohler, B. (2008). MPI Research and Avatars Walking in Virtual Reality. Talk presented at Seminar on "Virtual Realities". Dagstuhl, Germany.

The Virtual Reality (VR) Research Group at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biological Cybernetics investigates a number of topics that are necessary for the improvement and usefulness of virtual environments, such as biomechanical dierences while walking in VR as compared to the real world, the need for self representation in VR, joint action in VR and a software library for VR (veLib). Scientists at MPI also use VR to investigate human perception, speccally space perception, self-motion perception and spatial cognition. This presentation will briey cover the research projects of the VR Research Group at MPI for Biological Cybernetics and then in more detail discuss a new research program which improves the use of and investigates the impact of avatars and more natural interaction in virtual environments. More natural interaction in VR is increasingly practical as tracking technology improves and reduces in cost. Being able to naturally interact with other objects in the space and see one's self representation in the virtual space raises many qestions. Specically, do head-mounted have a large enough eld-of-view to allow a person to interact with near objects and see one's visual avatar while acting in the space? Does having a visual avatar inuence one's actions in the virtual space? Finally, how does seeing one's self-representation impact one's experience in VR? These questions have already started to be addressed at the MPI with the use of a real-time fully-articulated avatar.