Robotics and Autonomous Systems Center

Virtual Reality, Really!

Steven M. LaValle



It has been an exciting adventure as we race to bring the consumer version of the Oculus Rift VR headset into widespread use for games, cinema, therapy, virtual travel, and beyond. Palmer Luckeys 2012 prototype demonstrated that smartphone-based advances in display and sensing technology enable a lightweight, high field-of-view VR experience that is affordable by the masses. This has stimulated widespread interest across many industries, research labs, and potential end users of this technology. This talk will highlight some of the ongoing technical challenges, including game development, user interfaces, perceptual psychology, and accurate head tracking. Although VR has been researched for decades, many new challenges arise because of the ever-changing technology and the rising demand for new kinds of VR content.



Steven M. LaValle is Principal Scientist at Oculus VR, Inc. He is a roboticist and a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is best known for his introduction of rapidly exploring random tree (RRT) algorithms, and his book on Planning Algorithms, one of the most highly cited texts in the field. In 2012, he was one of seven faculty named as a University Scholar at UIUC for 2012-2014.


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