IT pupil, staff earn first-place award at MIT Actuality Hack for VR remedy // Mizzou Engineering

February 12, 2024

Mizzou college students and alumni attended the MIT Actuality Hack in January. From left: Livia Fiebelkorn, Mike Sturn, Shane McKelvey, Albert Zhou and Erika Zhou.

Mizzou Engineering’s Shane McKelvey and his staff earned a first-place award at MIT’s Actuality Hack in January for his or her improvement of a novel remedy that makes use of digital actuality to assist younger sufferers bear electro-stimulation remedy.

McKelvey, a senior pc science main, and fellow venture individuals from throughout the nation gained for Inventive Inputs/Outputs within the {Hardware} class.

“The largest prize was the buddies we made alongside the best way,” McKelvey mentioned. “The stand-out factor for me needs to be the opposite individuals who have been there and the connections we made. Who you recognize is as essential as what you recognize, and Mizzou helps us do each. Lessons and analysis can train you the what, and a lot of these alternatives to journey and community helps you meet individuals.”

McKelvey was one among 4 present college students and two Mizzou Engineering alumni who participated in MIT Actuality Hack, which has turn into one of many largest prolonged actuality (XR) hackathons within the nation because it started seven years in the past. Fang Wang, affiliate educating professor in info know-how, supplies mentorship for individuals, all of whom take part in undergraduate analysis in Wang’s VR lab. That have ready them for fulfillment on the hackathon.

Wang additionally advises the MU Digital Actuality Group (MUVR), a pupil group centered on XR. All six individuals are both serving or have served as officers.

Whereas the tasks gave them the power to work with industry-level know-how on real-world tasks, attendees agreed assembly others was the spotlight of the occasion.

“The primary take-away for me was that there are such a lot of like-minded individuals you possibly can meet who come from completely different locations and completely different backgrounds with completely different experiences,” mentioned Livia Fiebelkorn, a junior info know-how (IT) main. “It was actually an important expertise to speak to individuals and listen to completely different views.”

Along with assembly college students from faculties across the nation—together with some from the Intercollegiate XR affiliation—the occasion additionally brings in professionals within the XR group, together with leaders within the area, mentioned Erika Zhou, who graduated with a level in pc science and minor in IT in December,

“The hacking and tasks have been cool, however group is a big a part of Actuality Hack,” she mentioned. “It was an important networking alternative.”

Mike Sturm, a junior learning IT, volunteered on the occasion, serving to organizers transfer tools and directing different individuals. The expertise gave him the chance to see quite a lot of completely different tasks.

“I noticed how the abilities and issues we study in class have real-world functions,” he mentioned. “You might be informed to make a program for sophistication, and also you assume it’s a one-off, however now you’re capable of join it to precise tasks. It’s a complete summation of what you’ve discovered.”

The tasks
Shane McKelvey, middle, and his staff.

McKelvey’s staff created FlexVR Wellness, a whole ecosystem that enables therapists to make use of an augmented actuality (AR) glasses to work together with a affected person remotely whereas the affected person is totally immersed in a VR setting. The staff used the Unity recreation engine, the Normcore multiplayer framework and Snapdragon Areas to interface the assorted units. In the end, the system would permit therapists to ship interactive distance-based remedy.

“The therapist would be capable to place issues within the VR personalized area, making it extra calming for a affected person in actual time,” he mentioned. “With the AR glasses, a therapist would see the affected person’s VR setting prefer it’s on a desk prime and be capable to choose up and transfer objects like recreation items.”

The purpose is to ship electro-stimulation remedy—which will be uncomfortable—to youngsters in a relaxed setting. In the end, McKelvey hopes the system can gamify remedy, permitting sufferers to “play” whereas remedy is run.

Zhou and her staff developed the WEDGE, a multi-faceted XR controller that features two buttons and LEDs, which permit these outdoors of the VR setting to obtain details about what’s occurring throughout the simulation.

“One of many cool issues about it’s that an individual utilizing it could possibly use the buttons to work together with the VR expertise, and people outdoors of VR can see the LEDs blinking, which supplies one other approach of interplay,” Zhou mentioned. “One instance is an academic setting. An individual facilitating it could possibly use the LEDs to know the way the particular person is doing throughout the VR setting. A facilitator can use common VR hand controllers to vary the VR expertise with that LED suggestions.”

Erika Zhou, middle, and her staff.

Albert Zhou, a senior in IT, and his staff created EmpoweredAR, which leverages the power of XREAL eyewear to generate meshes of the bodily setting that, when mixed with distance monitoring, supplies wearers with an auditory map. The thought is to offer these with imaginative and prescient impairments a greater sense of their environments past conventional canes.

Mizzou Engineering alumnus Weiyu Feng additionally participated in a venture, Collage MR. The combined actuality app lets customers click on on an object to generate a associated expertise. The thought is to permit images, movies and 3D scenes to attach so customers can primarily “go to” their reminiscences.

McKelvey thanked the Group Analysis Group (ORG) at Mizzou for serving to fund the journey.

“Assembly individuals has been actually helpful to me,” he mentioned. “We’re making connections, and I’m seeing now why Mizzou supplies these alternatives—I see what it does for everybody concerned. It’s cool to see what I can do for the College after they put money into me.”

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