Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
virtual reality device. On the one hand, such experimental protocols make it possible
to accurately study the functional characteristics of the control of walking, and on the
other hand, study their regulation according to the characteristics of the environment.
4.2.2 Applied research
At the fundamental level, virtual reality technologies are now widely used and manip-
ulated to understand the control rules of behaviours, at the sensorimotor and cognitive
level. At the applied level, when used in Behavioural Sciences, virtual reality is used in
several ways. Here, we only present a few main lines of these applications, seen from
the point of view of the Behavioural Sciences. In particular, there are three domains that
directly involve these applications. Firstly, the field of learning and training, in which
virtual reality is used to modify behaviour with a view to gain extensive control over
a technique or a methodology. Secondly, the field of behaviour therapy, cognitive and
sensorimotor rehabilitation and finally the field of visualization in scientific computing
(for a better understanding of scientific, anatomical and/or behavioural data). Training, learning and simulation
Training constitutes an important field where virtual reality is applied to behaviour,
and involves classic training simulators, like flight and driving simulators. Here, we do
not need to go back over the very well accepted idea that a simulator makes it possible
to obtain the basic skills required to carry out a future activity (Durlach & Mavor,
1995). The unique advantage is that the simulator allows errors, and that it helps to
create flexible or even impossible scenarios.
In this domain, virtual reality is now widely used in the field of learning and
training. The modes of interaction offered by virtual reality (and mainly the haptic
interfaces) make it possible to define new types of training “simulators''. Here, it is
mainly possible to create peculiar situations that are impossible to recreate in the real
environment due to the perceptual characteristics of the human-being and the physical
characteristics of his environment. We can, in particular, cite the CS-WAVE system,
used for welding training (Steib et al., 2005). This platform has been developed in
collaboration with AFPA (Association pour la Formation Professionnelle des Adultes
[Association for Professional Training of Adults]). This platform is not designed to
replace the standard “on-the-job'' training, but constitutes additional training for the
trainees. Under special conditions of “virtuality'' (safety and flexibility), it mainly
helps to optimise the learning of welding gestures, especially in terms of planning
of the gestures to be made, as also in terms of the quality of gestures. In particular,
learning the welding gestures is very difficult as it requires the right combination of the
parameters of position and speed of the welding torch. In the virtual reality situation,
the trainee handles a torch whose position is tracked in real time. He can thus receive
feedback on his action and be in audio contact with a trainer, who controls his activity.
We thus have training by action, under controlled conditions (among other things, the
absence of the intense light which is associated with real welding). It is thus necessary to
note that this approach, to the extent that the professor can intervene in the scenario
being played, also makes it possible to think about the content of the training and
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