Industrial Engineering hosts seminar speaker on virtual reality

Join the Industrial, Systems and Manufacturing Engineering Department for a seminar by Harsha Abeykoon, Plymouth State University, from 9:30 to 10:50 a.m. Tuesday, April 16 in 262 Rhatigan Student Center, Herrman Room, on “Touching Remotely? a reality for Virtual Reality (VR).” Light refreshments and snacks will be served.

Seminar abstract:

The sense of touch stands out as unique among human sensory capabilities. For effective transmission, actions initiated by an individual and corresponding environmental reaction must be conveyed in a two-way (bilateral) manner. Bilateral tele-operation is realized using an acceleration-based controller. Evolution of the tele-operative technologies will be presented. If tactile sensations are transmitted, archived and replayed, virtual objects can be created for VR environments.

Instead of traditional force sensors, an innovative observer method is employed to grasp the subtle dynamics of interaction. The seminar will delve into the intricacies of reaction torque observer and its variant, the disturbance observer. The range of applications is broad, extending from remote surgical procedures and patient rehabilitation to advanced tele operative systems.

Moreover, the presentation will highlight the technical advancements while offering a deeper understanding of how collaborative projects within academic institutions contribute to the field of haptic technology. It will also demonstrate a few other student projects ranging from sound source localization, field-based navigation, vision and to gait pattern generation using reinforcement learning.

Speaker bio:

Harsha Abeykoon obtained his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, and went on to complete his master’s degree in mobile robotics and his doctorate in motion control of robots at Keio University, Japan. He has served as an assistant professor in the Department of Industrial Systems Engineering at the Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand) and was a senior lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. He is currently affiliated with Plymouth State University and holds positions as the vice chair of the IEEE New Hampshire section and the secretary of its Robotics and Automation Society.