Asatte Press supports a variety of staff and student intern research activities related to the Internet of Things.
Asatte Press interns have used Asatte Press facilities for programming experiments related to wearable technology. One project in particular was focused on monitoring a user's heart rate to detect drowsiness, a potentially useful technology for operators of safety critical equipment.
Asatte Press interns are actively exploring the capabilities of the Oculus Rift and investigating possible industrial applications of the technology. Here you can see us putting the latest version through its paces at our facility in November 2014.
Our interns are also doing a lot of work with the Blender 3D graphics and animation package. We are especially interested in model-to-model transformations in terms of moving information in and out of the Blender environment.
One of the key questions in the re-emerging virtual reality space is how to best render avatars of real objects or even humans. Here Asatte Press consultant Keiichi Yamamoto shows an experimental method for using an Xbox and Blender to create such a personal avatar.
Serious virtual reality applications are not merely entertainment or art. Serious industrial applications of virtual reality will require careful systems engineering. In the video below, we show a prototype of a training game scene that traceably implements a requirement from the OSHA 1910.178(a) forklift training standard to train operators to stay away from the edges of raised platforms.
A presentation about this project is available here: Presentation. A full-text paper on the subject is available on the IEEE Xplore database here: SysML Requirements for Training Game Design, Tracing Requirements from Regulations to the Training Game .
This particular model transformation was done manually using Blender. We started with side, front, and top projections of an actual forklift and created a 3D model in Blender for the training game.
Augmented reality is another interesting technology that Asatte Press is exploring. Unlike a virtual reality device, an augmented reality device does not completely replace the wearer's perception of the surrounding world. Rather, the augmented reality device superimposes additional information or imagery on the user's view of his surroundings.
Google Glass and the Microsoft HoloLens are examples of products in this category. While these products are not without controversy, they have clear potential for industrial applications. Notably, both the railroad and oil industries struggle with accidents caused by operators focusing too heavily on “belly pack” remote controllers and losing awareness of the situation around them. An augmented reality device could help provide the operator with the information needed to control the machinery while improving the operator's ability to remain aware of his environment.
Updated 8 April 2015