ANSIBLE: A Network of Social Interactions for Bilateral Life Enhancement
NASA has identified the need to develop countermeasures to social isolation among flight crew and their family and friends under the likely conditions of a time delay in deep space missions. Stressors from the environment such as sensory monotony can impact psychological health and cause performance detriments. Presently, asynchronous solutions such as email, social network websites, and micro-voice messaging serve to link geographically distributed communities.
ANSIBLE uses immersive and content rich Virtual Environments (VEs) and Virtual Worlds (VWs) to counteract physical limitations of vehicle and habitat and combat sensory monotony. It leverages the persistence of VW to augment asynchronous communications between crew and their social support systems (i.e., family, friends, colleagues) to minimize the impact of communication delays on interaction flow and enhance social connections.
- ANSIBLE supports asynchronous communication beyond email, and can be used in real time, during pre- and post-flight when crew and families may be geographically separated, thus providing a longitudinal continuum for connecting with their social support systems.
- VEs are natural environments to provide training, skills maintenance, as well as cooperative experiential learning.
- VAs are guides and instructors in other domains, and they will be of greater importance to serve in those roles in the context of limited real-time communications and increased task complexity.
A fact sheet is available for download: [pdf]
New art exhibit installed in ANSIBLE virtual environment: [pdf]