Current project (2022-2023)
Bradford J. McFadyen, Andréanne Blanchette, and Philip Jackson
LogVS - Large Over Ground Virtual Suite
We have developed an affordable, mobile platform with a simple user-friendly, and flexible interface to study, assess, and intervene on locomotor navigation and general mobility over ≈100 m2. LogVS uses ecological environmental contexts involving pedestrian interaction known to engage goal-oriented locomotor adaptations of trajectory, speed, and endurance, as well as executive functioning related to planning, goal flexibility, and attention. The platform involves a park environment programmed to run on a standalone HMD. Online communication between a tablet-based interface and the HMD is achieved by an autonomous wi-fi link with an independent server provided by a pocket-sized single-board computer (Rasberry Pi) for autonomous data storage.
Understanding interactions between pain, body perception and motor control
Robotic platform to develop behavioral biomarkers in children with sensorimotor dysfunctions
Data, Intelligence and Health Research Platform
Gaze-tracking system for Kinarm robotic platform
We use a Kinarm robotic system integrating virtual reality and eye tracking to assess sensorimotor performance, body perception and learning ability in a variety of clinical populations, such as children with cerebral palsy or a neurodevelopmental disorder as well as adults who have suffered a stroke or who suffer from chronic pain.
Analysis of the physical demands of net shooting by immersive technology: Effect of expertise and fatigue.
Partner: Ministry of Wildlife, Forests, and Parks (MFFP), Government of Quebec. Some MFFP employees have to fly over frozen lakes in a helicopter with a net launcher in order to temporarily capture wild animals (e.g. caribou) and take biological samples. The load of the weapon, the work context as well as the air safety rules make the task very physically demanding and can induce the adoption of awkward postures to carry out the task. With a view to preventing injuries and improving working conditions, an analysis of the impact of the expertise developed by experienced shooters, and of the impact of fatigue on the shooting task was necessary. Considering the inherent risks related to the task (triggering a firearm on board an aircraft) as well as the high costs associated with helicopter outing operations, the project was designed and carried out using immersive technology. A virtual reality environment aboard a helicopter and caribou capture scenarios were created. A net launcher was instrumented in order to integrate it into the virtual environment.
VR Project – Adaptavie
Promotion of healthy habits in children with physical limitations: co-design and implementation of a virtual platform in adapted and remote physical activity camps
The innovation consists of integrating a Quebec platform of virtual reality and serious games into the adapted physical activity camps offered by these organizations. A library of virtual objects and environments will make it possible to quickly create individualized scenarios and a learning dashboard that will allow stakeholders to follow up. A partnership with the lessee will optimize the impact of this platform and increase its distribution in Quebec. The objectives of the project are: 1) to develop and integrate the activities offered in the camps for individuals with physical disabilities in a virtual platform, 2) to validate its usability in the physical activity camps adapted to the lessee environment, and 3) to evaluate the implementation of the virtual home platform. The deliverables are an immersive collaborative training system fully accessible remotely offering several fun exercises adapted to the condition of each individual.
HABIT-ILE camps including virtual reality for children with cerebral palsy.
The research project consists of implementing virtual reality in intensive camps to improve motor functions in children with cerebral palsy. The objective is to improve motor functions but also to assess the feasibility of using virtual reality in a clinical setting in an already validated intensive therapy camp.
Project progress. The first camp took place in the summer of 2022 with 7 children with cerebral palsy. We are currently in discussion with the management of the CHU Ste-Justine to obtain funding and make some necessary modifications to meet the needs of clinicians and managers.
Co-design of an Assistive Internet Navigation Device for People with Visual Impairments
We are developing a technology to facilitate internet navigation for low-vision and blind participants. It is a technology that complements the use of screen reader software, like NVDA or JAWS. We are focusing on trying to provide a tactile version of the headings of a webpage that the user can interact with directly with their hands. It would be like a minimap of the webpage in the palm of the hand. We are doing a participatory design, which means that users are front and center during the design process. Their opinions and experience are going to shape the design that we came up with during the research process.
Intelligent Wear AR and Body Mapping
Smart clothing devices with Augmented Reality support to consider alternatives for people suffering from depression. A transposition of the body mapping approach to expressing one's ills through a representation in virtual mode, using a science fiction story to immerse the user in a sensitive immersive experience allowing him to explore his own imagination. This conceptual experience defines the methodological processes to apply the body mapping process in an alternate reality context. We question here the notion of corporeity, as well as the modalities of virtual representations of non-verbal contexts on hand-woven textile support. A fashion show has taken place and experiments on patients are to come.
We use virtual reality (Vive Pro) to assess the effect of fatigue and pain on upper limb control. We are also starting new studies to assess whether motor training has a protective effect on the potentially harmful effects of pain and fatigue. For these projects, the use of virtual reality makes it possible to position the virtual targets according to the anthropometry of the subjects, allows a spontaneous and random appearance of the targets, and ensures precise manipulation of the visual feedback.
In connection with the use of the Immersion 360 system, in December 2021 we obtained a substantial grant from the Robert-Sauvé Research Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (IRSST) for the development of a dedicated protective hearing aid research on issues related to hearing-impaired workers in noisy workplaces.
Funded projects by 2019-2020 ITR team
Title : Development of an active leisure scenario in virtual reality for the elderly: proof of concept
Charles S. Batcho, PhD, Université Laval, CIRRIS
Alexandre Campeau-Lecours, ing. PhD, Université Laval, CIRRIS
Alexandra Lecours, PhD, Université Laval, CIRRIS
Krista Best, PhD, Université Laval, CIRRIS
Title: Evaluation of motor learning during a functional task in a virtual environment in adolescents with cerebral palsy
Maxime Robert, PhD, Université Laval, CIRRIS;
Veronique Flamand, PhD, Université Laval, CIRRIS;
Catherine Mercier, PhD, Université Laval, CIRRIS;
Title: Development of a virtual reality scenario to enhance the practice of Goal Management Training strategies for the rehabilitation of executive functions
Simon Beaulieu-Bonneau, PhD, École de psychologie, Université Laval, CIRRIS;
Valérie Poulin, PhD, Département d'ergothérapie, UQTR, CIRRIS;
Philip Jackson, PhD, École de psychologie, Université Laval, CIRRIS, CERVO;
Funded projects by 2018-2019 ITR team
Title: Use of Immersive Technologies for Prevention Training of work health alteration of People Conducting Northern Scientific Expeditions: A Pilot Study.
Alexandra Lecours, Valerie Poulin, Denis Laurendeau, Claude Vincent.
Title: Development of a platform to modify movements of a virtual prosthesis from physiological signals.
Martin Simoneau, Alexandre Campeau-Lecours, Katia Turcot.
Title: Virtual environment assessment of locomotor and cognitive costs in dual-task activities that are representative of daily life of people with stroke.
Andréanne Blanchette, Bradford McFadyen, Marie-Christine Ouellet and Anouk Lamontagne.
Title: Virtual immersion experience of natural environments.
Geoffrey Edwards, Ernesto Morales, Patrick Fougeyrollas and Jocelyne Kiss.
Title: VR prototype for sensitive social interaction: Virtual reality system to increase the immersion.
Jocelyne Kiss and Katia Turcot.