ABB Norway, Postdoc, 2009.
Flashscope is designed to provide in-situ live information to ﬁeld operators in an industrial environment. It was envisaged to have a ﬂashlight-like embodiment: something that ﬁt well in the setting and could be used simply by shining on a object of interest - such as a tank or pump. Overlaying information on to the object itself means there is no confusion about the relation of data to physical entity, and it works well in collaborative scenarios. Because the projection also adapts based on what part of the object is pointed at, it can be used for example to highlight particular components, or to show a virtual water line - in principle, giving you x-ray vision. In another use case demonstrated in the video, the system is used to bring up a schematic diagram.
The prototype seen here uses a mico laser projector and standard USB camera. Self-calibration between surface and camera-projector pair is performed automatically by periodically showing a checkerboard pattern and then computing a transformation matrix based on the image as seen by the camera. This allows the system to match the projection to the surface.
Computer vision techniques were used for object identiﬁcation and tracking. The algorithm used (SURF) requires that at least one sample image of an object is available beforehand. Interestingly, the rich texture of real-world objects enhance the reliability of the system. In the test case, textures needed to be printed and stuck to the relatively feature-less perspex tanks.
- “Interaction with the dirty, dangerous, and dull.” Heyer, C. and Husøy, K. (2012). interactions 19, 4 (July 2012), pp. 19-23. ACM Press
- “Investigations of Ubicomp in the Oil and Gas Industry.” Heyer, C. (2010) In Proceedings of the 12th ACM International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing (UBICOMP2010), Copenhagen, Denmark. ACM Press, New York, pp. 61-64. ACM Portal