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Image RemovedWelcome to the ICT Virtual Human Toolkit Website.

The ICT Virtual Human Toolkit is a collection of modules, tools, and libraries designed to aid and support users and developers with the creation of virtual human conversational characters. The Toolkit is an on-going, ever-changing, innovative system fueled by basic research performed at the University of Southern California (USC) Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) and its partners. 

Designed for easy mixing and matching with a research project’s proprietary or 3rd-party software, the Toolkit provides a widely accepted platform on which new technologies can be built. It is our hope that, together as a research community, we can further develop and explore virtual human technologies. The Virtual Human Toolkit can be licensed (License Agreement) without cost for academic research purposes. Please contact us if you are interested in a commercial license.

Click here to request the This Confluence site contains the main documentation portion for the ICT Virtual Human Toolkit. 

Once you've downloaded the Toolkit, go to Getting Started for detailed directions.







See Release Notes and News Archive for details.

Toolkit Overview


The goal of the Virtual Human Toolkit developed by the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) is to make creating virtual humans easier and more accessible, and thus expand the realm of virtual human research and applications.

What it is

Our research has led to the creation of ground-breaking technologies which we have coupled with other software components to form a complete embodied conversational agent. All ICT virtual human software is built on top of a common, modular architecture which allows Toolkit users to do any of the following:

  • utilize the Toolkit and all of its components as is;
  • utilize certain components while replacing others with non-Toolkit components;
  • utilize certain components in other existing systems.

Our technology emphasizes natural language interaction, nonverbal behavior, and perception and is broken up into the following main modules:


The target platform for the overall Toolkit is Microsoft Windows, although some components are multi-platform.

What it is not

The Toolkit does not contain all of the basic research technologies currently being developed and utilized at the ICT, such as the reasoning SASO agents. However, we continually evaluate our basic research findings for potential inclusion in future releases. 

Currently, we are not at liberty to publicly distribute any project-specific data. However, we encourage all interested parties to contact us.

Who can use it

The Toolkit has two target audiences:

  • Users: People who use the provided technology as is to either run a component or create new content. Users with basic computer and minor scripting skills will be able to configure and run systems.
  • Developers: Software engineers or programmers who are able to build and modify code. Developers may create new capabilities for the system, either by modifying or extending existing code or by creating new modules that interface with the rest of the system.

All Toolkit software may be used without cost for academic research and US Government purposes provided all associated licenses are honored. Please cite us appropriately, as per clause 3 of the license, when using the Toolkit or any of its components for published research. See the Papers section for more details.

License and Disclaimers

The License Agreement states, but is not limited to:

  • The Toolkit and any of its components is to only be used for academic research and US Government purposes.
  • Cite us appropriately when using the Toolkit or any of its components for published research. See Papers for details.
  • Toolkit users are required to honor all licenses of components and supporting software as defined in Exhibit A of the License Agreement.

The complete License Agreement and supporting documentation is found in the License section.

Please be aware that the Toolkit consists of research software for which documentation and support is limited. However, both the software as well as the accompanying documentation are actively being developed and updated.

Who Uses Toolkit Technology

There are many ICT projects that use a subset of the technology provided with the Toolkit:

In addition, many groups outside of ICT use some of the Toolkit components, most notably SmartBody and Watson:

    • University of Reykjavik
    • German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
    • ArticuLab at Northwestern University
    • Telecom Paris Tech
    • Affective Computing Research group at MIT Media Lab
    • ICSI/UCB Vision Group at UC Berkeley
    • Human-Centered, Intelligent, Human-Computer Interaction group at Imperial College
    • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
    • Microsoft Research
    • Relational Agents group at Northeastern University
    • Component Analysis Lab at Carnegie Mellon University


Recently Updated

Toolkit site can be accessed here.