Manufacturing workplaces are becoming sites of intense change as technologies like IoT and AR/VR are beginning to make deep inroads into how complex products are engi-neered and assembled. These categories of technologies are becoming prominent in manufacturing because they offer potential solutions to the problems of unskilled labor and workforce shortages. Technology has the potential to shift manufacturing in both large and small ways, to better un-derstand how a manufacturing organization might appropri-ate VR, we ran a study with a global aviation manufacturer headquartered the United States. To document the changing nature of work via this class of technologies we conducted a VR study which facilitated access to participant observation and interviews (n=21). Our findings provide initial insights into the organizational impact of VR on human perfor-mance augmentation and skill acquisition revealing the larger infrastructural challenges facing the adoption of con-sumer grade smart technologies in industrial workplace settings.
Studies combining psychotherapy with psychedelic drugs (ΨDs) have demonstrated positive outcomes that are often associated with ΨDs' ability to induce 'mystical-type' experiences (MTEs) – i.e., subjective experiences whose characteristics include a sense of connectedness, transcendence, and ineffability. We suggest that both PsiDs and virtual reality can be situated on a broader spectrum of psychedelic technologies. To test this hypothesis, we used concepts, methods, and analysis strategies from ΨD research to design and evaluate 'Isness', a multi-person VR journey where participants experience the collective emergence, fluctuation, and dissipation of their bodies as energetic essences. A study (N=57) analyzing participant responses to a commonly used ΨD experience questionnaire (MEQ30) indicates that Isness participants reported MTEs comparable to those reported in double-blind clinical studies after high doses of psilocybin and LSD. Within a supportive setting and conceptual framework, VR phenomenology can create the conditions for MTEs from which participants derive insight and meaning.
Employing anthropomorphism in physical appearance and behavior is the most widespread strategy for designing social robots. In the present paper, we argue that imitating humans impedes the full exploration of robots' social abilities. In fact, their very 'thingness' (e.g., sensors, rationality) is able to create 'superpowers' that go beyond human abilities, such as endless patience. To better identify these special abilities, we develop a performative method called 'Techno-Mimesis' and explore it in a series of workshops with robot designers. Specifically, we create 'prostheses' to allow designers to transform themselves into their future robot to experience use cases from the robot's perspective, e.g., 'seeing' with a distance sensor rather than with eyes. This imperfect imitation helps designers to experience being human and being robot at the same time, making differences apparent and facilitating the discovery of a number of potential physical, cognitive, and communicational robotic superpowers.
Augmented reality (AR) presents a variety of possibilities for industrial maintenance. However, the development of real-world AR solutions has been limited due to the technological capabilities and uncertainty with respect to safety at deployment. We introduce the approach of using AR simulation in virtual reality (VR) coupled with gaze tracking to enable resource-efficient AR development. We tested in-field AR guidance and safety awareness features in an iterative development-evaluation process with experts from the elevator maintenance industry. We further conducted a survey, utilizing actual gaze data from the evaluation to elicit comments from industry experts on the usefulness of AR simulation and gaze tracking. Our results show the potential of AR within VR approach combined with gaze tracking. With this framework, AR solutions can be iteratively and safely tested without actual implementation, while gaze data provide advanced objective means to evaluate the designed AR content, documentation usage, and safety awareness.
In Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes, unique Buddhist murals of ancient China are preserved. Unfortunately, the exquisite murals are suffering from degradation. Experts have been trying to enhance public's awareness of mural protection, but there's no efficacious means to attract interest and popularize knowledge yet. In this paper, we propose RestoreVR, an interactive virtual reality (VR) system engaging users to experience Dunhuang mural restoration in a digital tour in the cave. Based on an online survey with the public and in-depth interviews with five Dunhuang experts, we derive a set of design requirements for generating embodied knowledge and situated experience in VR to bridge the gap between highly specialized experts and general audiences. Accordingly, we design RestoreVR and conduct a between-subjects user study to compare our system with traditional methods. The results suggest that RestoreVR significantly improves user experience and awareness of CH protection over existing methods.