Students to Design Augmented Reality Simulation to Train NASA Astronauts

February 21, 2018

Bradley University has been chosen to participate in another project with NASA. A group of Engineering, Computer Science, and Interactive Media students has been chosen for the NASA S.U.I.T.S Design Challenge program (Spacesuit User Interface Technologies for Students).  
This is a mission-driven project in which university student teams design and create spacesuit informatics using an augmented reality (AR) Microsoft HoloLens platform. In other words, they create a digital system that uses AR to help an astronaut become more efficient and effective with their tasks. With this digital program interface, when astronauts put on the HoloLens, they will see an AR simulation of the task(s) they will be performing while on spacewalks. 
Heather Ford, Instructor and Designer in Bradley's Department of Interactive Media says this work is on the leading edge of design in the industry. "This project enables our students to have all the tools they need to enter the workforce in this industry. Students are strategizing, planning, researching, analyzing, adapting, and measuring a design that seeks out new or refined current trends in interactivity. It teaches students the best practices and principles of human/computer interaction. They are uncovering the practices, technologies and critical thinking around a trending, future, and innovative user experience."
Selected student teams will have the opportunity to travel to NASA Johnson Space Center May 21-25 to test their prototypes in an on-site facility. 
Students involved in the program include:
  • Zach Abbott, Senior Interactive Media Game Design major from Park Forest, IL
  • Zach Bachmann, Freshman Computer Science major from Oswego, IL
  • Jason Daluga, Sophomore Computer Science and Mathematics major from Libertyville, IL
  • Francis Levins, Junior Computer Engineering major from Bolingbrook, IL
  • David Matias, Senior Interactive Media Game Design major from Downers Grove, IL
  • Kevin Mikolajczak, Senior Interactive Media major from Milwaukee, WI 
  • Alanis Nash, Junior Computer Engineering major from Peoria, IL
Fewer than a dozen teams were chosen for the project out of thousands of schools that applied. Those chosen include Bradley, M.I.T., Boise State, University of Miami, Colorado University, UC Davis, University of North Florida, University of Maryland, Riverside City College, University of North Dakota, University of Akron.
This is the third project with NASA Bradley is working on. 

Left to right: Kevin Mikolajczak, Alanis Nash, Zach Bachmann, Jason Daluga, Francis Levins, and David Matias.