Sebastiaan de Stigter

Alumni of the Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action
Alumni of the Group Motion Perception and Simulation

Main Focus

Improving Self-Motion Perception in Vehicle Simulation

I lead the research group and am scientific leader for the Research project.

The WABS project, dissimilar to many other projects at MPI, aims to demonstrate the application of fundamental research work in developing industry solutions. The result of the WABS project is an industry demonstrator showcasing a newly developed approach to motion simulation.

Motion perception in vehicle simulation is complex, as it extends across a number of working fields. Therefore our research group consists of people from various backgrounds, including: Aerospace and Biomedical engineering, Biology, Computer science, Mathematics, Neurobiolology, Psychology, Robotics.

Wahrnehmungsbasierte Bewegungssimulation (WABS)

The WABS project aims at establishing a new approach to motion simulation. Our focus is on reproducing the perception of motion, rather than the physical motion. This allows to make better use of the simulators' operational space to increase the impression of realism.

Current generation motion drive algorithms (MDAs) focus on the fidelity of physical motion rendering, within the limited physical operating space of the simulators. However, in many cases the generated motion can result in unrealistic sensation and in extreme cases can lead to motion sickness. Current motion simulators have attained very high motion fidelity, but still, this does not always result in a highly realistic motion sensation: sometimes it does not "feel right"!

One of the main activities of our group is to develop an alternative, human-centered, approach to motion cueing. This approach aims to bring the impression of generated motion as close as possible to reality by implementing psychophysical laws of perception into the control framework of the simulators. The goal is to design generic motion drive algorithms which can be applied to different simulator types and vehicle models. The motion drive algorithms will be experimentally compared to the traditional algorithms in driving and flying scenarios.

Curriculum Vitae

Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

After completing my Bachelors and Masters degree (graduated in the field of Haptics in flight control augmentation) in Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology I started my career in industry.

Perception in flight at UCSB (Jack Loomis), CA, USA

As part of my Masters degree I spent a couple of months at the VR Lab of Jack Loomis at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Here I ran an experiment in the VR lab focusing of perceptual errors in flight when the visual vector (heading) is misaligned to the motion vector. Such events occur in near stall conditions, can lead to wrong pilot decisions-making and may yield catastrophic effects.

Aviation business consultancy, The Netherlands

The beginning of my career, I spent almost 5 years working as an aviation business consultant, improving operations and policy effectiveness for private and public sector using numerical analysis and simulations. Clients consisted of airlines, air traffic navigation service providers, airports, ministry of transport, etc. My focus was on design and validation (simulations) of air traffic control procedures, environmental impact assessments (noise and emissions) and flight performance analysis based on radar data.

Strategy and operations, South Africa

In 2011 I lived and worked in Johannesburg, South Africa. As a strategic business consultant and operations manager at a satellite tracking company I conducted extensive operational analysis to improve cost and price structures as well as improve business workflows. Clients consisted of satellite telecommunication providers, road transport companies, security companies, military, shipping companies and airlines all around the world, but with an emphasis on the African continent.

Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Germany

Ever since visiting the Max-Planck-Institute for Biological Cybernetics for the first time in 2005, after presenting my work from the Loomis VR lab, I have returned many times for short visits as well as a longer period in the end of 2010 when I spent three months integrating Wittenstein haptic control loading devices in a real-time computing environment, for use in helicopter simulation. Currently I lead the 'Motion Perception in Vehicle Simulation' research group and I am the scientific leader for the 3-year WABS project.

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