Clint Heyer pro­jects


Situated in­dus­trial process in­for­ma­tion.
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.