Design and productivity in an artificial environment can often lead to major breakthroughs. Augmented reality is of great value in this regard. Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology are using AR to build and maintain aircraft tanks. A very surprising take on things, albeit one that can have major consequences.
Designing Physical Products in AR
To put this entire story into its proper perspective, the scientists are developing an assistance system. It is that system which will be used to build and maintain aircraft tanks. Using augmented reality to present designs and turn a virtual creation into a physical product is no small feat. More importantly, this technology is accessible to anyone with a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.
Mixing virtual creations with the real world is always interesting to keep an eye on. Although it remains to be seen if this is the correct approach first and foremost, there are some interesting options to explore. It allows the scientists to immerse themselves in the building process and look at everything from as many different angles as possible.
KIT’s Christian Tesch comments as follows:
“The augmented reality glasses – at the moment we are using the HoloLens from Microsoft – display the work to be done in the engineers’ field of vision, who then have their hands free to install or repair components. The glasses are equipped with cameras. Users scan special markers on the tank in advance using the cameras, which communicate the exact location and the size of the tank to the glasses. A transparent 3D computer model from the inside of the tank is then projected onto the “real” tank; this means that engineers can also look into the closed tank from outside, understand the structure in detail, and get step-by-step instructions on how to install a pipe, for instance.”
One other thing worth highlighting is how all of the necessary calculations are performed in augmented reality as well. Rather than relying on pen and paper, doing so in AR allows for instant collaboration and peer verification of the mathematics. All of this further highlights the potential of augmented reality and how it can make a major impact on the world as a whole. These are still the very early stages of exploring this technology, after all.
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