Simulation lab launched enabling research into human-machine interaction
7 April 2021
The simulation lab at the Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Human-Machine Systems (IROHMS) has been officially launched as part of a virtual event at the Cardiff University School of Psychology.
As a key component of IROHMS, the simulation lab will enable research into how humans interact with technology - ranging from robots and automated vehicles to virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and cyber-physical systems. Research at the lab will also aim to harness and develop revolutionary changes to work and society, creating more efficient ways of working and subsequent improvements to human wellbeing.
Attendees at the launch were treated to a virtual tour of the lab, where they were able to see its impressive range of technology, including a six-metre immersive igloo dome, a transport simulator, and a virtual reality zone.
Guests were also given an insight into current research projects and were able to take a sneak peek at two new areas that are under development – the Cognitive and Social Robotics zone (soon to have 1 x Pepper and 2 x Nao robots), and Cyber Security and Command and Control Centre.
IROHMS Director of Research, Professor Phil Morgan said: “We are delighted to launch the IROHMS simulation laboratory. Even with the covid-19 pandemic challenges faced over the past year or so, key components of it have been operating onsite and remotely at near-to-normal levels with minor impacts on the installation of some kit. This is thanks to the incredible and dedicated efforts of a number of academic and professional services colleagues as well as Cardiff University students including Interns.
With well over 200-m2 dedicated laboratory space, we have gone far beyond our initial vision in 2019 and have now not three but five key zones: one with an advanced transport simulator with autonomous capabilities; another with a 6m2 immersive dome where up to 12 people can take part in experiments with video and/or Unity programmed scenarios; a third dedicated to mobile virtual, augmented and mixed reality, and now two other zones for cyber security and command and control centre research and cognitive robotics.”
The IROHMS research centre was officially launched in 2019 and is a collaboration between the School of Psychology, Engineering and Computer Science and Informatics. It builds on the strength of globally established academics in the field of digital manufacturing and robotics, human factors and cognitive psychology, mobile and social computing, and artificial intelligence.
The simulation laboratory is another core example of the enhanced research capabilities made possible due to IROHMS funding from the European Regional Development Fund via the Welsh European Funding Office with significant contributions from Cardiff University. For queries regarding the IROHMS Simulation Laboratory including how to get involved in IROHMS related research and/or how to become a member of IROHMS – please contact either Prof Dylan Jones (IROHMS Co-Director) or Prof Phil Morgan (IROHMS Director of Research).