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Keynote Lecture Series Archive

Fall, 2018

Can You Feel It? Haptics for Realism and Virtual Communication

Heather Culbertson

WiSE Gabilan Assistant Professor
Computer Science and Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Departments
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA

The haptic (touch) sensations felt when interacting with the physical world create a rich and varied impression of objects and their environment. Humans can gather a significant amount of information through touch with their environment, allowing them to assess object properties and qualities, dexterously handle objects, and communicate social cues and emotions. However, humans are spending significantly more time in the virtual world and are increasingly interacting with people and objects through a digital medium. Unfortunately, digital interactions remain unsatisfying and limited, representing the human as having only two sensory inputs: visual and auditory.

This talk will focus on the investigation of haptic devices and rendering algorithms to provide humans with touch feedback when communicating through a computer. I will present a background on the sense of touch and illustrate how we can leverage this knowledge to design haptic devices and rendering systems that allow the human to virtually communicate in a natural and intuitive way. I will then discuss our work in creating realistic haptics in virtual reality through both data-driven modeling and novel haptic hardware.

Heather Culbertson is a WiSE Gabilan Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southern California where she directs the Haptics Robotics and Virtual Interaction (HaRVI) Lab. Previously, she was a research scientist in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She received her PhD in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics (MEAM) at the University of Pennsylvania in 2015, a MS degree in MEAM at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013 and earned a BS degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno in 2010. She is currently serving as the Vice-Chair for Information Dissemination for the IEEE Technical Committee on Haptics. Her awards include a citation for meritorious service as a reviewer for the IEEE Transactions on Haptics, Best Paper at UIST 2017, and the Best Hands-On Demonstration Award at IEEE World Haptics 2013.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
3:30 PM
Seaver Science Library, Room 150 (SSL 150)

Refreshments will be served at 3:15 pm.

host: Domardazki