Exploring embodiment phenomenon in virtual reality when facial expressions control illusion is induced
The main content of my master's thesis revolved around some research about the
phenomenom of embodiment in virtual reality while using a system that tracks
and reproduces the facial expressions of the user onto his virtual body.
In my main experiment, a hardware developed by other members of my laboratory
tracked various facial features of the user. Through machine learning, it allowed
me to follow some face expressions. This tracking was used in Unity so that
the avatar of the user would reproduce facial movements of the user, thus creating
the feeling that the user was in full control of the avatar's face.
This setup was combined with OptiTrack, a motion capture system, so that some
body movements of the user in the real world would be reproduce by the avatar
via inverse kinematics techniques, in order to reinforce the embodiment phenomenon
which strength is greatly correlated with the fidelity of the movements of the
During this experiment, two groups of people were asked to do a certain task
that involved moving one of their arm and moving their head. During this wholetime,
their face expression was reproduced by the face of their virtual avatar which
was visible in a mirror and, for one of the twos groups, the avatar would gradually
smile (and thus take away part of the control of the face). The main objective
of this experiment was to find wether or not such a process would be noticed
by users and if that would influence the embodiment. Other elements that were
explored included the emotional impact of this induced smile.
This website, which deals with the video game series Ratchet & Clank, began as a solo
project, and eventually became the living place of an active community held together
by a team of 10 people, shared between a French and an English side.
From its origins back in 2007 to its current days with the latest version relying on the
Symfony framework, this project allowed me to learn a lot about team work and more importantly,
it gave me the opportunity to practice my programming skills on a regular basis and to be
confronted with the problems that can occur on a project stretching over a long period of time.
The development of the new version using the Symfony framework has been the occasion to build
a full web application from scratch that included the creation of a well featured CMS thought
to handle multilingual content and a lot of team work with a graphic designer to elaborate and
integrate a responsive design that handles all kinds of devices.
3.5 million page views per year
500 000 visitors per year
Multimedia educational tool
This contract obtained through the Junior-Entreprise of Télécom Bretagne concerned
the development of a Symfony web application allowing users to create presentations
for educational purposes based on a novel principle.
The approach is to first create a "matrix of grains" where multimedia content
will be added. Once filled, this matrix allows to create multiple presentations
of the same theme thus giving flexibility to both the person creating the presentation
(via the choice of content he can use) and the viewer (that will be proposed
a number of alternatives and complementary documents based on the presentation
he just watched). To know more about the system, please read the second
publication listed below.
My role ranged from software design to the actual implementation including backend
and frontend. This project allowed me to be confronted to many issues with a
specific focus on usability and extensibility as the development was to continue
after my contract was over.
Antin, R. S. & al. (2016a) : Un système générateur de récits au service de la médiation interculturelle. Actes du colloque GLAT 2016, « Acteurs et formes de médiation pour le dialogue interculturel » ; Padoue, mai 2016.
Antin, R.S. & al. (2016b) : Cultural and Educational Mediation meets multimedia-based adaptive storytelling. A profile-sensitive system for personalized presentations. Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, vol. 16, n. 5, pp. 105-113
As part of competitive entrance exams I took back in 2012, I worked on an artificial
intelligence able to play Tetris. The result was a program made in OCaml (a
functional language) which was based on Pierre Dellacherie's algorithm that
relied on a simple heuristic.
The project available on GitHub
is the result of the rewriting of the original OCaml program in C++. The environment
in which the AI can play can be customized (different grid sizes, not only the
10x20 classic one) as well as the pieces (polyominos) that are to be played.
Along with the usual tetraminos, other polyominos (dominos, triominos) can be
played by the AI.
The AI as it is can consider multiple moves in advance, thus providing better
results than the original algorithm of Pierre Dellacherie. In the end, my algorithm
managed to hit an average score of 132 millions lines which was a world record
for a Tetris-playing AI to my knowledge at the time.
As part of my curriculum at Telecom Bretagne, I was tasked to create
a video game in Python. Using SuperHot mechanics (which is in 3D), I designed
a 2D game based on time flow. To sum up, time will flow at full speed only when
the player actually moves. From this very simple idea, Timeless builds a gameplay
that focuses on dodging and a bit of infiltration to encourage players to have