Dr. Du Awarded NSF Grant to Augment Emergency Response (Sep 2020)

Partnering with collaborators from Texas A&M University and Virginia Tech, Dr.Du received NSF Convergence Accelerator Phase 2 project titled “B2: Learning Environments with Augmentation and Robotics for Next-gen Emergency Responders (LEARNER)“. The NSF Convergence Accelerator supports use-inspired, team-based, multidisciplinary efforts that address challenges of national importance and will produce deliverables of value to society in the near future.

Project pitch video:

We will develop and evaluate a functional prototype of LEARNER, an innovative accessible, modular, personalized, and scalable learning platform to accelerate skilling and reskilling of ER workers, particularly on nascent augmentation technologies that have significant potential to change the very nature of work and improve efficiency, health, and well-being. LEARNER will provide a unique training paradigm by incorporating physiological, neurological, and behavioral markers of learning into real-time scenario evolution. The proposed virtual and physical user interfaces and interaction techniques will advance the human-computer interaction field by providing a multisensory approach for ER simulation and synchronized virtual interactions with physical environments and work artifacts. Furthermore, our plan to field these HATs and develop an effective learning platform has significant transformative potential as EXOs and AR will enable users to formulate new work strategies at the individual and team levels enabled by their newly extended physical and perceptual capabilities. Finally, our work will advance learning by creating a scalable and replicable platform that will increase the speed of integration and adoption of innovative and emerging HATs that benefit the future workforce across diverse industrial sectors. Our transdisciplinary approach converges and enhances the existing knowledge from the disciplines of learning science, computer science, virtual and augmented realities, human factors, cognitive psychology, and systems engineering to create the LEARNER platform that integrates training course design, innovative and emerging technology implementation, and new techniques of work.

Project Page: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2033592&HistoricalAwards=false

Project team:

Ranjana Mehta rmehta@tamu.edu (Principal Investigator)

Jing Du (Co-Principal Investigator)

Alexander Leonessa (Co-Principal Investigator)

Joseph Gabbard (Co-Principal Investigator)

Divya Srinivasan (Co-Principal Investigator)