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Robotics Institute Seminar, January 30, 1998
Robotics Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh PA 15213-3891
412/268-8525 . 412/268-5576 (fax)

This page is provided for historical and archival purposes only. While the seminar dates are correct, we offer no guarantee of informational accuracy or link validity. Contact information for the speakers, hosts and seminar committee are certainly out of date.

Building Simulated Environments which Sound and Feel Real

Dinesh K. Pai
Department of Computer Science
University of British Columbia
(On sabbatical at Carnegie Mellon University)

Place and Time
Adamson Wing, Baker Hall
Refreshments 3:15 pm
Talk 3:30 pm

To be useful, a simulated environment should be both compelling and sufficiently accurate. For instance, in telerobotics, a virtual environment can be used to overcome the effects of communication delay and to make robots easy to program. Such an environment must accurately simulate the relevant physics of the remote site, while providing salient visual, haptic, and auditory cues at interactive rates. I will describe some of the work in our lab at the University of British Columbia towards these goals. First, I will describe a virtual environment interface for telerobotics, developed in our lab. The system is designed for programming contact tasks such as assembly and surgery, using force control and model-based vision. I will then describe physically-based simulation of sound produced by colliding objects in such virtual environments. The computed sounds depend on the material of the body, its shape, and the location of the impact. Haptic interfaces provide kinesthetic feedback and enhance the sense of realism of simulated environments. I will describe haptic interaction with multiresolution geometric models extracted from image data.

Speaker Biography
Dinesh K. Pai is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia, and a fellow of the BC Advanced Systems Institute. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. His research interests span the areas of robotics, modeling, and simulation. Examples of his work include the spherically symmetric ``Platonic Beast'' walking robot, the Least Constraint framework for programming high degree-of-freedom systems, and a classification of kinematic singularities. His recent interests are in area of interactive simulation --- this involves developing better models, simulation algorithms, and implemented systems for haptic interaction, sound synthesis, and telerobotics.

Speaker Appointments
For appointments, please contact the host, Mike Erdmann, at

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