I didn’t blog yesterday! So I’ll try my best to catch up to what’s happened since Monday afternoon.
We did more lecture for our deeper dive on Monday afternoon. I’d expect most of the content to be over my head, but as I watch videos and look at diagrams, I can understand how the printers work pretty well. Alex did a great job with his slides (also thanks to Kate). I was pretty set on doing the splint idea for Abby.
On Tuesday, I read some articles in preparation for our weekly Teleport meeting. I’m very interested in finding articles about perception-taking, but the field seems to be all over the place in the realm of psychology. I have to fine tune my skills about finding exactly what I need from the research articles I browse over. I also printed out some illustrations of avatars that I liked, and I made a quick mock up using Maya on what the avatar might look like with its arrows. Alec also helped us set up our Unity accounts so that we can access the study’s unity files, so finally what we’ve been learning from the crash courses is going to be useful in our project.
Stephen led the luncheon lecture on Tuesday, which was a surprise for me, because I hadn’t checked the schedule for that day. When he presented the projects he and others had been working on in VRAC, all the pieces started coming together as I started to understand what type of projects VRAC takes on. That also tells me a lot about VRAC in general. Stephen also talked about his life story, and how specific people in his network gave him advice along the way that changed his trajectory. I think he’s absolutely right, as I’ve found that life doesn’t go linearly like it might be expected to, and we have to be able to take opportunities and make changes along the way. He also gave some great tips on applying to grad school and recommendation letters. Overall, the lecture was informative and a much needed professional guidance session.
We had the Teleport meeting on Thursday afternoon. We talked about the avatar, environment, and the interface. We made decisions on each, which is good because now we can start moving forward by building components in Unity and testing them out. I think that the faculty were impressed with our ideas because we as interns thought of a lot of unique ideas that they wouldn’t have considered coming from their backgrounds.
This [Wednesday] morning, I switched gears to work on my deeper dive. Alex talked about some fancy expensive 3D printing devices and how they worked in different industries. Reading the presentation from the surface, one would think, “wow, companies can make these really realistic prototypes? Cool!” But as an industrial designer, I’m what Alex called a “skeptic”. I ask questions like, how long does it take for that prototype to be made? Is getting a fancy version even helpful, if the design keeps changing and there’s a strict time deadline on when the final has to be submitted? Honestly, I’m relieved that I feel like I can use something I learned in my field. During the beginning of this internship, I felt like I had strayed into the CompSci sphere and couldn’t use my industrial design skills to navigate. I’m learning now that I’m truly in an interdisciplinary place, and there’s much I can use from what I’ve learned in school.