Augmented Reality Agents with Pervasive Awareness, Appearance, and Abilities (ARA)

In this project, we are undertaking a program of research aimed at the nexus of concepts and technologies associated with Augmented Reality (AR) – the overlaying of graphical content on a person’s view of the real world, Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA) – computer-based characters that comprise some level of reasoning and conversational abilities, and the Internet of Things (IoT) – the interconnection of sensing, actuation, and computing in every-day objects, to achieve embodied augmented reality agents (ARAs) with pervasive contextual awareness, appearance, and abilities. The research includes three primary purposes: understand and prioritize specific ARA awareness, appearance, and abilities; realize pervasive ARA functionality; and assess realizations of ARAs. Specifically, the researchers are developing and assessing ARA prototypes in three application areas: a general conversational companion for the home, a pediatric physical-virtual patient simulator with a virtual counterpart, and AR-based training such as team healthcare or first responder training where multiple role players are necessary, and real humans are logistically difficult to coordinate, expensive, and not always consistent in their behavior. The healthcare focused work will leverage relevant courses at UF and UCF, and UCF’s NSF REU center on the Internet of Things to engage students beyond their core team, in meaningful and gratifying research.