The cutting-edge UMaine lab researching self-driving cars and virtual reality

Nick Giudice and Rick Corey don’t believe in silos. They don’t care much for the cloistered halls of academia, where different disciplines exist in separate spaces, hidden from the public and rigidly adhering to rules.

That’s why at the University of Maine’s Virtual Environment and Multimodal Interaction Lab — the VEMI Lab, as it’s almost always called — the only hard and fast rule is that as long as you do good work and get it done on time, the path you take There doesn’t matter all that much.

The VEMI Lab has now grown to take over all of Carnegie Hall, the imposing department granite campus building that once housed UMaine’s art. Wander through its warren of hallways and rooms, and you’re as likely to find students doing research on wayfinding technology for visually impaired people or using virtual reality to help medical professionals, as you are to find them sprawled out on the lab’s many big couches , because it’s a safe, laid-back place to study.

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