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Development of a Locomotion Interface for Portable Virtual Environment Systems Using an Inertial/Magnetic Sensor-Based System and a Ranging Measurement System

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Doctoral thesis

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This dissertation describes the development of an integrated locomotion interface for building self-contained, portable, and immersive virtual environment VE systems. Such VE systems do not rely on any infrastructure support and can be used in indooroutdoor open spaces. The natural walking motions of the user are utilized as a means of signal generation to drive the locomotion interface, which provides the user with a higher sense of presence. This work investigates the use of two types of measurement systems, the inertialmagnetic measurement units and the ranging measurement systems, to develop a locomotion interface for portable VE systems. Algorithms were developed for each of the two systems to provide the necessary functionalities of the desired locomotion interface. Fusing measurements from a head-mounted and a foot-mounted inertialmagnetic sensor, a locomotion interface was developed for allowing the use of natural walking motions to navigate through virtual environments. To prevent collisions with physical environment boundaries such as walls, a ranging measurement system was used to detect the presence of obstacles. An improved Iterative Closest Point ICP algorithm was developed for map-building of the physical environment and for estimating the user s orientation and position within the map. A redirected-walking mechanism was utilized for redirecting the user s walking direction away from boundaries in the physical environment. The two types of measurement systems were integrated to constitute a novel locomotion interface for portable VE systems, and its effectiveness was experimentally tested and demonstrated.

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  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Computer Programming and Software

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