Section: Other Grants and Activities
The collaboration deals with several topics around interaction. we have two partners, Chinese Academy fo Sciences, Intitut of Automation and Beihang University.
A New Human Representation Mixing Avatar and Video
This project was launched between the LIAMA and the Inria-Alcove (Prof. Christophe Chaillou), and three Chinese students (two PhDs Wang Haibo and Ding Li and one Master Lu Wanping) are currently involved in this project. During this year, we mainly focused on developing new approaches to extract the semantic information of human face and gestures from monocular video such that users are able to be represented effectively in a virtual environment. The major challenges lie in how to track effective features under the various influencing factors, such as illumination and pose variations, as well as how to distinguish the semantic cues from other meaningless information. Accordingly, we have carried out our research in the following several aspects:
Build a 3D gesture database and develop a multi-scale strategy that matches body silhouette at each frame against the database ones to extract semantic gestures.
Propose a gaze estimation method that considers both eye gaze and coordinated head orientations.
Develop a 3D head modeling system and integrate it into a feature-based 3D pose tracking approach.
Virtual reality based planning technology for hand-eye coordinated surgical operation
After finalizing a work plan for Wei Yiyi's Ph.D. thesis mid-2008, she obtained a fellowship from the French Embassy to start a Ph.D. thesis in October 2008. This thesis is done in collaboration between the ALCOVE team at INRIA Lille and LIAMA in Beijing. Following Wei Yiyi's interest in fluid simulation, we developed a first model of 2D fluid within the SOFA framework during the last months of 2008. Early 2009 we decided to extend the method the 3D fluid, with a particular focus on blood flow simulation in the neighborhood of aneurysms. This was motivated by one of our ongoing projects as well as the work Yiyi was pursuing. We obtained very good results a few weeks before the end the first 6 months of Yiyi's stay in France and decided to submit an article to the international conference on Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI). This work was accepted for oral presentation (about 40 out of 700 papers submitted) and Yiyi's was awarded the Young Investigator Award during the meeting which took place in September 2009.
Coupling of kinaesthetic and tactile feedback devices for touch simulation
The collaboration between the Human-Machine Interaction Lab and Alcove project team has been intensified.
A first exchange took place with the scientific stay of Pr. Betty Semail, invited during two weeks at Beihang university: four scientific seminars has been given on tactile devices, coupling of tactile and kinaesthetic devices, piezo-electricity and control tools. We have also prepared the second part of the master thesis of Yi Yang, a student from Beihang University who was planed to come in Lille and to begin later a co-supervised PhD thesis. In December 2008, Pr. Yuru Zhang came in Lille for a week and she gave also a seminar on force feedback devices, moreover she had the opportunity to touch and test the tactile feedback device designed by Alcove. Then, as it was scheduled, the master student Yi Yang came in Lille from April to July 2009.
As for the scientific results of this collaboration, a first device coupling tactile and kinaesthetic feedbacks has been designed. During his stay in Lille, the master Student Yi Yang acquired skills about the design and control of the tactile plate developed by Alcove. He succeeded to adapt the plate on the end effector from the cable-driven force feedback device which was developed in Beihang University. The work was successful and the student came back in China with one item of the tactile plate, its power supply and the control board.
The goal of such an approach is to respect the idea that when a user touches an object, he can feel in the same time the hardness or softness of this object, as well as its surface texture if any, at least, its friction behaviour. The coupled device allows such a feeling: when a user touches an object in the virtual world, the cable-driven end effector, which is able to move on a large surface (as for now it is a 2D device) renders a force feedback at the hand level (the user grasps the end effector with his five fingers). Then, once the contact is established, according to a finger position sensor, the forefinger may move on the tactile plate (as it would do in the virtual world) so as to feel the surface texture.