Imager Facilities Overview
- Imager large
- Multimodal User Experience Lab
- Physical Simulation and Measurement
- Sensorimotor Systems Lab
Imager's lab spaces reflect the size and interdisciplinarity of the Imager research group; our space comprises several physical labs, each serving specific research interests and housing state of the art equipment. Our labs are located in the X-Wing of the ICICS/CS building, a facility that opened in 2005 that targets cross-departmental interdisciplinary research related to information computing technology and cognitive systems.
Imager Large (X660) is our largest and most central lab space. It is managed by Drs. Bridson, Munzner, Sheffer, and van de Panne and is home to 24 graduate students who work on a wide range of animation, geometry, and visualization problems. Imager Large mostly houses individual student desks, but also has the high-resolution 4000x2000 pixel IBM T221 display, and shared machines for video capture and editing, 3D modelling, and statistical analysis. It is also contains the shared printer, a small library, and a small lounge with kitchenette and the all important pop pool. Many of our social gatherings, such as the monthly pizza lunches that bring together students and faculty from all of Imager, are held here.
The Multimodal User Experience Lab or "MUX" (X508) houses 9-12 students working on a wide range of user interface research, including haptic and affective, adaptive, mobile, collaborative and assistive interfaces. Drs. Karon MacLean and Joanna McGrenere manage MUX, which includes a toolbench for building haptic displays and lots of other fun toys, ranging from mobile devices to tablets.
Physical Simulation and Measurement or "PSM" (X709/711) is a research facility managed by Dr. Heidrich. The PSM lab houses a variety of special purpose equipment, including a high-dynamic range (HDR) display developed at UBC, optical table equipment, a variety of cameras and camera arrays, a laser range scanner, and a rapid prototyping machine ("3D printer"). The PSM lab also provides space for 6 graduate students using this equipment for research in graphics, imaging, and machine vision, with a specific focus on HDR imaging, 3D capture, and computational photography.
Sensorimotor Systems Lab (X432) is managed by Dr. Pai and includes 6 grad students, 3 postdocs, 1 research associate, and part of a research engineer to assist with hardware projects. The lab's mission is to understand the fundamental principles used by the brain and the musculoskeletal system to control and sense movement, and to explore applications of these principles to biomedical research, realistic computer animations, and robots with human-like capabilities. There are strong ties with the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies through a major thematic grant on Sensorimotor Computation and many international collaborations.
The lab has extensive instrumentation for sensorimotor research, including 6-axis force sensors, a 16-channel EMG system, microphones, video cameras, an eye tracker, several haptic devices including a Butterfly maglev device, a laser scanner, and robotic eyes. Also, as part of a recently funded CFI infrastructure grant, a related laboratory on Human Sensorimotor Systems is to be established within ICICS with $1.6M of additional equipment for sensorimotor research, including a new motion capture system, eye and head trackers, a 256 channel EEG/EMG system, a multifingered robot hand, and variety of different sensors and computer hardware.
In addition to the above labs which are used almost exclusively by Imager faculty, Imager makes use of, and in some cases helps manage, a number of the shared labs available to all ICICS members:
The Usability Lab (X727) and Observation Studio (X725) are ICICS shared facilities where we conduct the majority of our user studies. The Usability Labs typically host laboratory style quantitative experiments, and consist of a number of small rooms, each ideal for one participant and one researcher. The Observation Studio, by contrast, typically hosts qualitative user studies, and consists of two adjacent boardroom style meeting rooms, each equipped with a one-way mirror to facilitate observation by the researcher as well as video recording equipment and an external video monitoring station.
The Human Measurement Lab or "Mocap" (X527) is an ICICS shared facility. It is a 10m x 10m overheight room and is used for human motion capture. It is home to a 6-camera Vicon motion capture system and a video-camera array.
The Interactive Multimedia Lab (X521) is an ICICS shared facility that provides an environment for research on collocated and distributed meeting support utilizing large, multi-projector displays with a Dolby 5.1 surround-sound capability. It also houses specialized work areas for on-going research on high dynamic range (HDR) displays, and multi-person augmented reality environments. With its mirror-twin X509, it can be used to simulate distributed meeting and classroom environments. The lab will be used as one of the core facilities in the proposed GRAND NCE linking 19 universities in a Canada-wide Network of Centres of Excellence that will focus on New Media, Animation, and Games research.
The Interactive Workroom (X715) is am ICICS shared facility that provides a multi-touch tabletop display and a large 16x9 foot touch-enabled, stereo-capable wall display that are used in research on collocated collaboration, virtual reality, and assessment of sensorimotor function by faculty and graduate students in civil engineering, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, and medicine. The special-purpose displays are part of a research partnership with SMART Technologies, the Calgary-based leader in interactive whiteboards and collaboration technology.
The AMPEL/ICICS Student Prototyping Workshop (staffed part-time) is intended for use by AMPEL and ICICS graduate students, faculty and staff. This resource was opened in 2006 with funding from CFI (via Dr. MacLean) and AMPEL, in response to a recognition of a broad need for access to physical prototyping capabilities by members of departments who do not traditionally include this in their mandate; and the right kind of access for others which do. It has two parts: the Machine Shop containing high-precision CNC, large space mills and lathes; and the Small Tools Shop, a garage-sized modelmaking facility on the main AMPEL floor which contains a broad selection of wood, plastics and metalworking equipment.
The ICICS's Sound Studio (X704) and Digital Video Edit Studio (X710) are also used occasionally for special projects.