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Software Tools for the Development and Reuse of Avatars with Culture-Specific…

Award Information

Department of Defense
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2004 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
12124 HIGH TECH AVE STE 250 ORLANDO, FL 32817-8382
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Woman-Owned: Yes
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2004
Title: Software Tools for the Development and Reuse of Avatars with Culture-Specific Behaviors
Agency / Branch: DOD / DARPA
Contract: W31P4Q-04-C-R237
Award Amount: $98,990.00


In order to increase the accessibility to courses in Foreign Languages and cultures, organizations such as the Defense Language Institute (DLI) are developing distributed learning courses that include responsive, multi-cultural avatars. Currently, training simulations employing these avatars must be developed independently for each language and culture, at a significant expense. Furthermore, the avatars developed for these courses are not necessarily designed to support reuse by other projects, such as DARWARS. For this Phase I SBIR Project, Vcom3D will develop a modular architecture for avatars that can be easily modified to model different cultures and contexts. Our approach will be to separate the "meaning and intent" of character interactions from the culture-specific ways in which individual characters convey this information through speech, gesture, and action. We will develop a proof-of-concept authoring tool for creating training simulations that can be tailored for different cultures by embedding virtual characters with appropriate "built-in" behaviors. We will conduct an evaluation of the performance, accuracy, and "believability" of the behaviors with DLI faculty and other appropriate subject matter experts. To support rapid adaptation of this technology by other programs, we will develop to Web, IEEE, and ISO-track standards such as XML, HLA, X3D, and H-Anim.

Principal Investigator:

Edward M. Sims
Chief Technology Officer

Business Contact:

Carol J. Wideman
Small Business Information at Submission:

3452 Lake Lynda Dr., Suite 260 Orlando, FL 32817

EIN/Tax ID: 593419305
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No