ICAT projects are funded to artists, designers, engineers, and scientists who come together in a living laboratory that fosters creativity and promotes critical reflection. Learn more about ICAT funding opportunities

Pulling at the Heartstrings

This collaboration will utilize high-throughput imaging capabilities developed by Drs. Brown and Nain. Together we have established a framework to collect a significant amount of data on cells that are moving along engineered fibers and generating measurable forces as they tug on fibers. These videos allow us to monitor the behavior of cells under different conditions. We have established a method to induce a “heart attack in a dish”, where we can modulate the cellular environment on the microscope and expose cells to conditions that mimic what happens in a heart attack.

Sea Ice Saga

As a part of our project, we will conduct a number of field-based collaboration, production, and VT-based remote collaboration and post-production activities. In Iceland, we will undertake the following fieldwork over the span of at least two (possibly three) visits: video and audio recordings of interviews, documentation of activities on Icelandic fishing boats and research vessel biomass and sea ice survey data, video at coastal village centers, at the Sea Ice Archive, at farms, at fish processing facilities with fishermen, in fishing net-making and net-repair shops, and in textiles studios.

Can training methods from the Performing Arts be used to prevent falls and fall-related injuries

In later life, physical changes to our body make it more difficult to maintain mobility and independence. For example, adults over the age of 65 commonly experience a loss of strength, along with impaired balance and gait. These changes lead to an increased risk of falling and fall-related injuries. In fact, falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among adults 65 and older (older adults) (1). An estimated 29 million falls among older adults occur annually in the United Stated (2), with Medicare costs exceeding $30 billion (3). Falls and fall-related injuries remain a major problem despite substantial and widespread efforts to reduce their occurrence. New exercises or training methods are thus needed to help reduce these falls and injuries.

SAFE – Strategies to Avoid Fall among Elderly

AI and Machine learning theories should be challenged to find answers to some of the most serious problems we face today. If Amazon/netflix can recommend me the movie or show I want to watch and the clothes that will look good on me, why can’t we use the same technology for envisioning better healthcare for elderly, or better safety for our kids in schools, or helping humans to not repeat the same dumb mistakes over and over again

Developing SmartSense: A Robotic Platform for High Throughput Phenotyping and Genome Wide Association Analysis

We will develop innovative robotic technology which can collect phenotypic data from the field. Computer vision and machine learning algorithms will be developed to recognize flowers, pods, leaves and weeds from images collected. Genomic data and statistical analysis will be performed to identify key genetic variations that associated with these desirable traits.

Exploring Visual Modalities for User Experiences in Smart-Built Environments: FutureHAUS Case Study

The FutureHAUS testbed provides a unique, holistic SBE where people can interact with the SBE in a multi-modal way. FutureHAUS is an exemplar for the integration of architectural best practices, usability principles and healthy living guidelines in support of user experience. For every function/service/device there are multiple interaction options (touch, gesture, voice, etc.).

Robotic Felting

This project aims to conduct initial research into the development of a new additive manufacturing process able to create structures with integrated rigid regions and a textile (felt). The process will use low-grade recycled materials, thereby making the process eco-friendly.

Visual Language of Chromatin Architecture

It is now well recognized that three-dimensional (3D) organization of the genome (chromatin) plays an important role in key cellular processes such as DNA replication, repair, transcription, and epigenetic inheritance, i.e., inheritance that is not encoded by the DNA sequence. Abnormalities in the 3D genome architecture have been associated with a number of pathologies including various cancers.

Transdisciplinary Collaboration to Visually Map Government Policies to Restrict the Marketing of Unhealthy Food and Beverage Products to Children

The globalization of the food supply has fostered the widespread transnational marketing of highly processed food and beverage products high in fat, added sugars, and salt (HFSS) to young people worldwide. We conducted a scoping review 7 of published scientific peer-reviewed evidence and gray literature for voluntary and mandatory government policies related to food and beverage marketing to children in 13 countries from the Americas region.

Resonance on the Walls II

Volume of a Cube is a performance for 18+ percussionists in a multi-level structure with surround sound spatial audio and live video projection. Written by Boston composer and percussionist Drew Worden, it was commissioned by Virginia Tech in 2017 for their multi-level research facility: the Cube.


Starting June 9, 2017, composer and violinist Charles Nichols, video artist and programmer Zach Duer, architect Jon Rugh, and guitarist and composer André Foisy met on Virginia Tech campus, with banjoist and composer Holland Hopson joining telematically from the University of Alabama.

Deciphering the Secrets of Musical Intelligence: Big Data Analysis Techniques and End-User Tools for Music Score

Musicians possess a wealth of knowledge, accumulated over the years of practice and experience of playing and studying music. For example, music educators are well aware of the characteristics of musical pieces that would make suitable repertoire for a given student.

smART Field

The research efforts associated with smART field focus on developing a solution that integrates luminous materials into an all weather and ADA compliant solution to paths on the Drillfield in order to enhance the integrity of the Drillfield as a “green room” at the center of the Virginia Tech campus.

REAL Pedagogy

This presentation features a research and outreach project that focuses on the creation of a teacher professional development model that employs theatre arts techniques to engage high school students in STEM learning.

Fusality for Stream and Field

Researchers supported by the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology are developing an interactive 3D environment that will bring together data from multiple research locations, including water quality data, to produce more comprehensive models and analytics for community ecosystem monitoring, targeting ongoing research activities at Stroubles Creek and the Catawba Sustainability Center.

Kinesthetic Field

Kinesthetic Field is a full-body, kinesthetic approach to revealing electromagnetic fields. It is a concept for a public installation that allows people in separate locations to physically interact with each other through direct manipulation of dynamic sculptures. The installation consists of two or more nodes connected by a wireless electronic network.

Advancing Transportation Infrastructure 3D Image-Based Reconstruction with Application to Bridge Deck Crack Mapping and Inspection

The project merges a recently acquired 3D image-based reconstruction platform in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) department (called OJOS) with virtual reality and rendering capabilities in the Virginia Tech School of Visual Arts.

The Orb

The Orb is a data visualization showcasing research projects associated with the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) at Virginia Tech.

Mirror Worlds

Like very few other infrastructure projects, "Mirror Worlds" has the potential to connect people around the world (researchers, educators, students, and the general public) to computational research on human behavior, interaction, and understanding.

Puppy Project

The planned project is to employ safe, noninvasive motion capture and 3D visualization tools to study canine puppy socialization behaviors in a newly developed portable motion capture unit.