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12/23/1999 13:07

I can see something that you can't!

Manuela Hoffmann Kommunikation
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

    Augmented reality allows you to see more than what is visible in real life. In the ARVIKA pilot project, researchers are working on techniques that allow, for instance, complicated installation instructions to be projected directly onto the real object.

    Anyone who has ever taken a look at the electronics packed inside an airplane is sure to admire the work of those responsible for laying all those thousands of cables in the right place. In the vast construction halls, it can take weeks to connect up all the wires as specified in the complex circuit diagrams. Augmented reality (AR) can be a great help in this detailed work. The Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics IGD in Darmstadt is one of the participants in the ARVIKA pilot project sponsored by the German Ministry of Research BMBF, working on new technology that helps people to see more than what is visible in real life.
    In the case of aircraft manufacturers, plans for the complex electronics are first generated on computer. The construction engineer has this information literally right in front of his eyes at all times, because the
    assembly instructions are displayed step by step on the "data goggles" he is wearing. Through these he sees the real airplane fuselage, and can carry out the instructions immediately. He has both hands free and does not need to keep interrupting his work to look up the necessary information in a manual. Some of the components of this AR technology originate from the Fraunhofer Institute in Darmstadt. "The most essential element is a portable mini-computer that the construction engineer can clip to his belt" explains Dr Stefan Müller from the IGD. "Then there are the 'data goggles'. Researchers in different parts of the world have developed a number of variants. The most basic version merely has a transparent LCD display. Another version has a miniature screen attached to the arms of the goggles, and the information displayed there is reflected onto the lenses." A miniature camera mounted on the data goggles tells the computer in which direction the user is looking at any time. The computer compares this image with previously recorded orientation marks on the object, and uses this information to calculate the current position and viewing direction of the user. The appropriate information is then projected on the user's data goggles.
    Augmented reality is a technique that promises to offer interesting applications not only in mechanical engineering but also in surgical operations or on building sites: Anywhere where measurements and planning data are available in digital form, and where the person carrying out the work needs both hands free. Consequently, the range of companies taking part in the ARVIKA project is particularly wide - ranging from machine tool manufacturers in the SME sector to some of the major international corporations in automotive and aerospace engineering.

    For further information:
    Dr. Stefan Müller
    Phone: +49 61 51/1 55-1 88
    Fax: +49 61 51/1 55-1 96
    E-Mail: stefanm@igd.fhg.de
    www.arvika.de

    Fraunhofer-Institut für
    Graphische Datenverar-
    beitung IGD
    Rundeturmstrasse 6
    D-64283 Darmstadt
    Press contact:
    Bernad Lukacin
    Phone: +49 61 51/1 55-1 46
    Fax: +49 61 51/1 55-4 46
    E-Mail: lucakin@igd.fhg.de
    www.igd.fhg.de


    Images

    © Fraunhofer IGD. The assembly instructions are displayed on "data goggles", which allow the construction engineer to look at the real component and relevant information at the same time.
    © Fraunhofer IGD. The assembly instructions are displayed on "data goggles", which allow the constru ...

    None


    Criteria of this press release:
    Economics / business administration, Electrical engineering, Energy, Information technology, Mechanical engineering
    transregional, national
    Research projects, Research results
    German


     

    © Fraunhofer IGD. The assembly instructions are displayed on "data goggles", which allow the construction engineer to look at the real component and relevant information at the same time.


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