IROHMS simulation laboratory
The IROHMS Simulation Laboratory focuses on IROHMS research agenda: investigating research problems at the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and human-machine systems.
The lab investigates how humans interact with cutting-edge technologies, including:
- autonomous vehicles
- virtual reality
- artificial intelligence
- cyber-physical systems.
This research builds on the already established work of the Human Factors Excellence (HuFEx) research group. The key goal is to harness the revolutionary changes to work and society, thus bringing about enhancements to both the systems’ efficiency while also contributing to human wellbeing.
With over 200m2 dedicated laboratory space, we have five key zones: transport simulator, fully immersive dome, cognitive robotics zone, mobile virtual, augmented and mixed reality zone, and cyber security command and control centre. Development of the VR/AR zone and command and control centre is still underway.
The research of the laboratory is supported by a new suite of high-tech facilities with equipment for use in research and teaching.
The immersive, high-fidelity transport simulator comprises an ST Engineering Antycip display system—a semi-cylindrical curved screen which renders a 180 degrees panoramic view—and compact SimEasy AV Simulation driving cockpit featuring essential components to satisfy an engaging virtual driving experience.
Our future ambition is to replace the cockpit setup with a full-sized vehicle to further support the advanced SCANeR Studio simulation software, which can create a highly realistic virtual experience that can manipulate variables i.e., traffic, weather, visibility etc.
Igloo immersive dome
The Igloo immersive dome is a 6m2 facility that can house up to 12 people to take part in experiments with video and/or programmed simulation scenarios.
The Igloo immersive dome is supported by a comprehensive ambiosonics sound system to allow three-dimensional sound to be generated at will, and a high-definition projector system that produces 4K HD resolution display. The immersive dome supports substantial opportunities in virtual reality, allowing the user/s to link mobile virtual reality and augmented reality devices to create a truly immersive experience.
The facility is one of few places internationally undertaking this area of research.
The lab benefits from a suite of social robots to further research in the field of human-robot interaction. The robotics zone of the lab includes one SoftBank Robotics Pepper and two SoftBank Robotics NAO:
Pepper is the world’s first social humanoid robot able to recognise faces and basic human emotion and can be interacted with through its touch screen.
With 20 degrees of freedom for natural, expressive movements, Pepper has touch and infrared sensors, LEDs and microphones, an inertial unit, 2D and 3D cameras, and sonar; all of which support multimodal interactions and omnidirectional and autonomous navigation.
The robot is supported by an open and programmable platform.
NAO is a powerful programming unit which has become a staple in education and research. NAO has 25 degrees of freedom which enables movement and adaptation to the environment and touch sensors and inertial unit to perceive its environment and locate itself within it.
The robot houses four microphones and speakers to interact with human agents, with speech recognition and dialogue available in 20 languages, two 2D cameras which allow it to recognise shapes, objects and people, and is supported by an open and programmable platform.
These state-of-the-art facilities, which are available for research and development, are located in the School of Psychology.
For any queries, please contact SimLab@cardiff.ac.uk.