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Phobia Experiment

Project Type: VR/AR program to provide exposure therapy for treatment of animal phobias.

Date: Fall 2018 - Spring 2020

To perform a first-of-its-kind study on the efficacy of AR for exposure therapy.


My Role: Inherited the project from a previous student. I developed the animal AI and redesigned the UI.

VR Specs:
A seated experience. Runs in VR on the HTC Vive and in AR on the Microsoft HoloLens. An Xbox controller is used for input.

More Details

The AI was the most challenging part. We did't have an animator in the lab, so I had to use the stock animations that came with these pre-made assets. This was especially problematic given how small the cage is and how fast the mouse should move.

However, I also didn't want to aim for total realism. Since the program is intended to be used for exposure therapy, it needs to be able to induce anxiety. As such, I made the animals look as scary as possible without looking fake.

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