Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL), run by Professor Jeremy Bailenson, conducts social science studies in immersive virtual reality. The lab uses behavioral science methodologies to explore how people interact with digital worlds.
There is little reserach on children in virtual reality. At VHIL, I helped create a virtual reality Sesame Street environment used to investigate how children think and learn by measuring virtual presence in 5-year-olds. It is implemented in Python, using Vizard Virtual Reality libraries. The child is placed into a room resembling the lab room with Grover, a Sesame Street character, to see how he or she interacts in VR.
I also assisted in running studies in the lab (for Virtual Sesame Street and for other projects), and from this learned about the unique challenges of running different participant populations, especially children.
This Sesame Street study has been featured in the news(including a segment on CBS), and is still ongoing as a part of Jakki Bailey's doctoral dissertation.
While at the lab, I also worked on a hardware project, creating a mobile lab setup. This mobile lab enables researchers to take their studies outside of the lab space and run participants in malls, parks, and more. Creating this mobile lab setup required testing a existing hardware and figuring out ways to use it in non-traditional ways.