VERE Project Logo Virtual Embodiment and Robotic Re-Embodiment - BCIs for avatar control

VERE aims to carry out research on the fusion of the human body with virtual or physical surrogates. By fuse, we mean that human participants would operate under the illusion that the virtual body is their own, or that they are actually in the physical space of the real world in a robotic body that they perceive as their own. As well as providing a radical extension of traditional virtual reality through the notion of virtual body ownership, VERE would pioneer remote body ownership in which the participant stays in a reclining and immobile position but operates a virtual or physical remote body via a brain and body computer interface.

VERE opens the door to a radically new form of human-computer confluence with beneficial applications. Moreover the work clearly has implications for the notion of self and consciousness, which will be addressed in VERE too. Two exemplary applications would be developed during the research: one in the context of gender-based domestic violence and the other to give physically impaired people such as tetraplegics the ability to operate again in the physical world through their surrogate.

Cartoonish sketch of the system
g.MOBIlab+ BCI system

The brain and body computer interface system will be based, among others, on physiological interface devices from g.tec for recording EEG and other physiological data in real-time. These signals will be used by different types of Brain Computer Interface (BCI) systems and systems to detect the psycho-somatic state to infer the participant’s intentions from those signals. Machine learning will then be used to drive the virtual or robotic body or control the virtual character based on the recognized and/or anticipated intentions.