Research Facilities

Cyberneum Gebaeude3 | Fotografie Dietmar Strauß, Besigheim

Cyberneum Gebaeude5 | Fotografie Dietmar Strauß, Besigheim

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Cyberneum Gebaeude2 | Fotografie Dietmar Strauß, Besigheim

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Cyberneum Gebaeude4 | Fotografie Dietmar Strauß, Besigheim

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Overview (German only)


Participants needed

The MPI for Biological Cybernetics is looking for participants for scientific studies investigating human perception. Click on the picture for more information.

Different Research Facilities help study human perception

In order to simulate realistic virtual environments and provide the illusion of moving through those environments, scientists in the Cyberneum use a variety of different hardware setups and software libraries.
A motion simulator allows persons to be physically moved through virtual environments simulating the motion of driving cars and flying helicopters, for example. In the large room of the TrackingLab, experiments are conducted in which participants can walk through and explore extensive virtual worlds that are displayed via head-mounted displays. The half-spherical screen of the PanoLab allows the simulation of large visual fields providing an increased degree of immersion. Check out the individual facilities for more information.

The individual Research Facilities and their main research application:

The in-house developed novel CableRobot Simulator is capable of generating unique motion trajectories using - as its name suggests - a cable suspension system. This prototype will be used in perception and cognition research.
The MPI CyberMotion Simulator was developed at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics as a novel alternative to traditional  motion simulators. It is based on a commercial six-axes serial robot originally designed for use in industries as manipulator. At the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, the robot has been customized for use in basic and applied research by outfitting it with a seat in an enclosed cabin with a curved projection screen. The entire assembly is positioned on a linear track with a range of almost 10 m. The eight degrees of freedom (axes) of the simulator are not coupled and therefore the motion envelope is extended compared to traditional Stewart platforms. With these capabilities, several open questions in human vestibular neuroscience (e.g., tilt-translation resolution) and optimized motion cueing algorithms for superior simulator designs can be addressed.
The TrackingLab is a laboratory in which human behavior is studied in virtual surroundings. The scientists are particularly interested in determining how human beings find their way about in surroundings which are new to them. This requires that behavioral data be collected in numerous, different virtual rooms. In contrast to other simulators, human beings in the TrackingLab can move freely and naturally through the simulated environments.
A tracking hall of size 7.55m x 6.18m x 3.5m and equipped with tracking capabilities (6 VICON®  Bonita cameras, software Vicon® Tracker) is used as a main testing space for our multi-robot research.
The PanoLab is used to conduct experiments on spatial perception, spatial orientation, and perception-based actions. One important aspect for true-to-life simulation is the size of the illuminated visual field. Large-scale projection of images in the PanoLab makes it possible for us to present a simulation over nearly the entire human visual field. In this way, we achieve very realistic simulations and also have the possibility of systematically studying different areas of the visual field in terms of their importance for human perception.

Heli-Lab is a fixed-based flight simulator that affords a large field of view (i.e., 105°x100°). It is equipped to measure explicit and implicit behavioral responses, respectively, control stick inputs as well as eye-tracking and physiological measures. Thus, we are able to study the relationship between a pilot's actions and his cognitive workload during flight maneuvers.

Last updated: Monday, 01.02.2016