Representative Bustos promotes the new Bradley-Air Force partnership in VR technology

PEORIA (WEEK): A future partnership could cause Bradley’s Interactive Media to partner with the U.S. Air Force and the University of Dayton to integrate virtual and augmented reality into its operations.

Representative Cheri Bustos is working to secure a $ 8 million grant to help make the partnership a reality. It’s an adventure for the Department of Defense to virtually integrate VR and AR technology.

After a tour of Bradley’s interactive media department on Tuesday, Bustos says it’s fantastic to see a nationally recognized program thrive in downtown Illinois.

“This is a great time to be able to tour this entire department and see what both undergraduate and graduate students are doing right here in Peoria, Illinois,” Bustos said.

In March, The Princeton Review ranked Bradley’s program 9th nationally in visual and augmented reality design. Program students have also worked with NASA on software to show inside the helmets of astronauts.

Program director Ethan Ham says students also have great aspirations for life after graduation.

“Animation students, their dream is to always go to Disney and Pixar,” Ham said. “Our game students want to go to game studios and they all do, but they also do other things.”

Ham says some of the other apps include working with sites like OSF or technology startups that use virtual and augmented reality technology.

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