All are invited to experience a unique virtual reality demonstration by Ford Motor Company this Thursday, Sept. 20, on the UCF main campus.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in UCF’s Engineering 2 building (UCF building 91), Ford will demonstrate its immersive Environment Lab (FiVE), a state-of-the-art simulator that uses virtual reality so that engineers and designers can fully experience a vehicle long before the physical prototype is built. Ford also uses the technology to build a virtual manufacturing world with digital avatars, enabling engineers to analyze the manufacturing process beforehand to reduce the physical stress of assembly line jobs and prevent injuries, ultimately increasing overall quality.

Thursday’s event – hosted by the UCF Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems within the College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) – will feature a Ford engineer who will guide visitors through the journey of the company’s innovative use of virtual engineering and manufacturing, and offer a glimpse of what happens in Ford labs using the “Virtual Reality Buck.”

The Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems at UCF specializes in human systems integration – a type of research that helps engineers and designers understand how a person will use or react to systems, like a vehicle or an entire manufacturing operation.

Motion capture and digital avatar technology, as seen in Ford’s virtual reality simulator, is also researched and developed in UCF’s Synthetic Reality (SREAL) Lab. SREAL is part of several larger UCF entities, including the UCF Institute for Simulation and Training, the Computer Science Division within CECS’s Division of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and the Digital Media Division of the School of Visual Arts and Design.