del Campo Talks HoloLens, Robots in MiXR Podcast

Matias del Campo, associate professor of architecture, was a recent guest on the MiXR podcast. Hosted by the University of Michigan’s Center for Academic Innovation, the MiXR podcast highlights faculty across campus who are using reality (XR) in the classroom and in their research.

del Campo, who teaches courses in Generative Design Computing and Virtual Engagement at Taubman College, talked about how he is using Microsoft HoloLens (a “mixed reality” headset) and Fologram (a collection of apps and plugins that run on mixed reality devices and integrate with Rhino and Grasshopper) to help students design efficiently in the XR space. He said that HoloLens gives his students hands-on experience to assemble their designs in the real world with a level of precision that is substantially higher than traditional methods, while Fologram helps them think on a larger scale and iterate much quicker. As one example, he discussed a specific project where students take raw materials and are able to bend them into a design in less than 30 minutes that would have in the past taken multiple days.

The conversation went on to discuss how this technology is being used by industry to change how construction is happening today, as well as how the tools and techniques that students are learning will prepare them to shape the future. del Campo also shared some of the work that he is doing with colleagues at Michigan Robotics, including designing a robot garden at the new Michigan robotics building that he described as a robotic garden designed by robots for robots.

“I think what would be absolutely great is more interdisciplinary work with people [at the University of Michigan] who are using those technologies because this kind of cross pollination is what creates new ideas about what you can actually do with this technology,” said del Campo, who noted that several Taubman College colleagues teach classes ranging from virtual reality to augmented reality. “Dean [Jonathan] Massey understands that there’s a whole ecology of people interested in these topics, and that it is becoming a strength of Taubman College.”

Listen to del Campo’s episode of the MiXR podcast or read a transcript of the conversation here.

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