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Subject: Re: ARIP TC - Research sub-team interview w/Rockwell Collins

Minutes from todays AR interview with Rockwell Collins.

Augmented Reality (info gather) 30OCT2015

Farhad Patel
Scott Hudson
Sam Murley
Ryan Wheeler, Jim Lorenz from Rockwell Collins
Rhonda Truitt

  1. Farhad provided a brief overview of ARIP TC
  2. Introductions
  3. Immersive virtual reality for product and design analysis. RC developed an interface several years ago, but were augmenting the physical location of their hands. Dr. Jim Oliver (Iowa State) involved in the effort. Developed ARMS - augmented reality manufacturing simulation.

Mix of digital and real world visualization = AR

Jim Larenz - managed adv engineering group. Developing tools and capabilities to transition designs to factories and designs from tech design to mfg.

Ryan Wheeler - adv mfg technologist and principal engineer. Broke from commercially available software to create better analysis for technical designs to mfg. Have created software to create immersive experience and deployed in less than a year!

Ops on factory floor occur at a workbench, so it is tight quarters. VR equipment is too expensive and cumbersome to deploy. AR gives an opportunity for better inspection directly at the bench.

RC has a lot of experience with the user interface/interactions in the way models are communicated.

Planar - flat 2 dimensional representation (circuit card)

Non-planar - collection of items that are assembled into a 3D object

Currently focused on Planar. projector-based. feature tracking and adjust. Easier since they don’t have to deal with 3D. Glasses still have a lot of problems, so that’s why using projectors.

VRAC at Iowa State

Handle occlusion properly is necessary.
Paul Davies at Boeing is doing a lot of great work in this area.

Planar scenario is a much lower hanging-fruit, especially with limited resources.

 Markers are a non-starter. They cannot put markers onto any products.

Make Commercial Avionics displays, controls, radar. Also Defense Communications equipment, precision guidance systems.

RC works at a very small scale (usually size of a breadbox), compared to products created by others (John Deere, Ford, Boeing, etc.). Markers could leave unacceptable electrostatic charged material behind, so need to have the visual recognition (feature recognition).

Important in service centers to discriminate rev A from rev H. 

Development in OpenCV. Not using feature tracking yet, but working towards it.

Glasses are very expensive. Because the price tag on products and components is so low, they can’t justify the expense of AR glasses.

battery life and connectivity, prescription lenses are also issues with glasses.

There is not an established interface/interaction paradigm for glasses. Tablets and smartphones, on the other hand, have an established paradigm. (pinch for zoom, etc)

swingarms still make tablets a hands-free experience for workbenches. 

projectors have more displayable area (project onto entire workbench) - to overlay instructions or display onto the object itself.

Lockheed Martin uses projectors to highlight  specific rivet holes that need to be punched in a specific sequence.

Conformal coat applications (like nail polish) applied to certain circuit boards for use in salt fog environments. Can’t applied everywhere, so certain areas need to be masked and where the coating can be applied. Projector helps to augment those areas that need to be done for specific activities.

Intention is to mount cameras and projectors on underside of top shelf of workbench to make it as “hidden” as possible. Looking at Raspberry Pi and other types of mini computers to drive some of the experience.

Placement of jumper wires on boards is another case for how AR could be applied.

Cedar Rapids, IA has technology at the facility.

Immersive Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality feedback: “best application of this technology they’ve ever seen”

Model as close to the real world environment/use as possible. It allows someone that is completely new to perform functions within 5 minutes.

No keypads, joysticks, etc is needed. Only a reference item and then recognition of your other hand. 1 tool based item to simulate any tool. Touchscreen monitor to perform various functions (assemble, disassemble, levels of assembly). Virtual reality - can assemble/disassemble with hand or with tool. Important thing is the Order of Operations, not necessarily the specific tool.

Important items are pulsed to draw attention. (usually white, since CAD models are different colors). Once complete, immediately show next item in the sequence. Written instructions are very quickly abandoned when such sequencing is visually provided.

Thanks and best regards,

Scott Hudson
Senior Consultant
Comtech Services Inc.


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