Chennai: Indian Institute of Technology Madras has launched the country’s first virtual reality consortium called “Consortium for VR / AR / MR Engineering Mission in India” (CAVE). As a group of academia, industries, emerging companies and government agencies, this consortium is coordinated by IIT Madras.
The main goal of this consortium is to allow members to create together new technologies and advanced applications in virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality (XR) and haptic. His research collaboration would be conducted with industry sponsors and participants from industry, academia, and government.
The consortium will promote best practices, dialogue with all stakeholders, government policy makers and research institutions. It aims to become a resource for industry, academia, consumers and policy makers interested in virtual, augmented and mixed reality. CAVE’s engineering mission is to promote the engineering of XR and haptic technology development, not just using XR and haptics, and the adoption of XR and haptics globally, particularly in India.
Highlighting the key role that IIT Madras would play in this consortium, CAVE coordinator, Professor M. Manivannan, of the Department of Applied Mechanics, IIT Madras, said: “A strong research group like IIT Madras is needed for innovations in XR and haptics. As a consortium initiated by academia, priority is given to innovation, there are many more resources available to each member and together they can reach a wider audience and achieve missions of greatness. “
In addition, delving into how CAVE would benefit India, Professor Manivannan said: “In this era of ‘Make in India’, a specific consortium from India is important for XR and haptics to have big impacts.”
The main results envisaged by the “Consortium for the VR / AR / MR Engineering Mission in India” (CAVE) include:
Ø Develop native VR / AR / MR hardware and software
Ø Installation of “VR Superhighway” or “VR Corridor” where many emerging companies and industries are working together for a bigger mission that will make India the choice of future XR and haptic needs.
Ø Promote VR skills training: Offer VR courses together with industry partners to bridge the gap between global XR and haptic needs.
Ø Promote the training of technology-enabled skills through XR and haptic technologies such as training in medical skills, vocational training or education.
Dr. Neeraj Mittal, Principal Secretary of the Information Technology Department of the Government of Tamil Nadu, inaugurated CAVE during a recent webinar organized by the Center of Excellence on Virtual Reality and Haptics of the IIT Madras, created under the initiative “Institute of Eminence”.
Before the inaugural ceremony, Dr. Neeraj Mittal said such a consortium was very necessary for a country like India to democratize the experience. He gave an example of seeing and feeling Keeladi’s artifacts without going there physically, and that technology can be easily assessed for all levels of strategy, which might not be possible.
This RV and Haptics CoE is India’s first product research and innovation center for XR technology and haptics, a transdisciplinary hub encompassing various fields of engineering, medicine, psychology and the arts. The center is also known as the Center for Experiential Technological Innovation (XTIC.org).
The CoE was inaugurated by Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Director of Mission, Atal Innovation Mission (ATL), NITI Aayog. He said the CoE can be an anchor point to bring various VR / AR efforts to this center to solve India’s mission. He especially highlighted how the center can help train young people in India, specifically children who are the future workforce, towards better literacy, in local languages.
Because XR is highly interdisciplinary, innovations in this field need a confluence of minds from different fields. While most research labs around the world focus on the computer aspect of virtual reality or the robotic aspect of virtual reality, the IIT Madras Center focuses on the fundamentals of reality. virtual: perception and illusion. Haptics is the future of virtual reality systems and all interactions in the future of virtual reality will be designed with our understanding of Haptics.
The inaugural webinar was moderated by Professor Steven M. LaValle, who was the first founder of Oculus (acquired by Facebook) and a professor of information technology and electrical engineering at the University of Oulu, Finland.
Other speakers include Professor Mandayam Srinivasan, founder of MIT Touchlab in Boston, USA, and professor of haptics at University College London, Dr. Venkat Sadanand, an engineer turned economist turned neurosurgeon. The group discussed the challenges of perception studies and how the center can have an impact on global research.