Sep 19, 2016

Quarles receives $240K NSF EAGER Award Grant

The National Science Foundation has awarded a 2-year $240,000 grant to support Dr. John Quarles in research entitled "EAGER: Enabling Virtual Reality for Aquatic Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities." Dr. Quarles is an associate professor in UTSA's Department of Computer Science.


Currently, most Virtual Reality (VR) systems (e.g., a head mounted display with a full body tracking system) cannot be used underwater and thus, it is not well understood how to design aquatic VR systems and what effect aquatic VR would have on user interaction. These limitations may hinder the use of VR in underwater applications, such as pool-based physical rehabilitation (i.e., aquatic rehabilitation). Current research suggests that VR-enhanced rehabilitation can offer many benefits, such as increased motivation through immersive games and the ability to practice in a safe environment, but VR has not yet been applied to aquatic rehabilitation.

Dr. Quarles endeavors to determine effective system and interaction approaches for aquatic VR and investigate their impact on human performance in the context of aquatic rehabilitation. The expected outcome of this research is to enable VR to be used in effectively in aquatic rehabilitation, which may potentially improve aquatic rehabilitation effectiveness and ultimately quality of life.

To read the article featuring Dr. Quarles' underwater virtual reality game, visit