Imagine that your car is breaking while you are driving on the highway. Typically it is necessary to carry out expensive towing and repair of the car and still counting indefinite delays. The chances of eliminating even more complicated site failures can be increased by using the augmented reality. If the cause of the problem is known, and if a suitable tool (or spare part) is available, special semi-permeable glasses can be fitted, through which the real space around us can be seen.
In addition, 3D objects are projected into these glasses (or tablet), which take you step-by-step without the need for mechanics assistance. Such applications already exist.
Augmented Reality (AR) is all that combines real-world recordings with computer-generated elements. One of the definitions generally permits that these accompanying (artificial) information may, for example, be an additional layer over the actual scene. The element of the augmented reality can be, for example, the continuous result of the hockey match, as we see it on the TV screen. Other definitions, however, rather reject this option and only consider those elements of the widespread reality that are sufficiently “embedded” in the scene (typically 3D objects).
The first practical use of AR appears in the army. The fighter pilot sees a beautiful sunset in the evening from the cockpit, which does not help the navigator much. Nowadays, usually with increased visibility, the pilot shows the relief of the landscape in a special helmet. other navigation information. Also, soldiers use special monocles (semi-permeable eyeglasses for one eye) where tactical data is displayed.
The principle of augmented reality rendering
A significant advantage of the practical deployment of augmented reality is minimum or no acquisition costs (these costs may be somewhat higher when using semi-permeable glasses – Figure 3-1). Figure 2 illustrates how to add additional digital elements to the actual scene:
- Scene capture – the scene is captured by the camera in real-time (but it is not a problem to make a recording, and it is additionally recognized, processed, and displayed by AR elements). Usually, a simple webcam is enough. For a more professional result, however, it is always better to have a webcam equipped with an autofocus function.
- Scene recognition – Characteristic signs (as shown in Figure 2), so-called markers, images, are placed within the scene. The scene can even be “3D scanned” (3D markerless tracking). In the case of our sample, the marker determines the size and position of the sink. It is also necessary to process the scanned image and find these markings, or to detect the characteristics of the scene.
- Scene processing – Based on the previous step, 3D models, virtual images, text, or even video is embedded in this scene. The processor (and mobile phone) usually has no problem processing the scene in real-time.
- Scene display – a scene complemented by new objects is displayed on the display device, which may not necessarily be just a regular monitor, but it can also be a mobile phone or tablet screen, or a semi-permeable or impermeable glasses equipped with a camera. You can also use a partial display, such as Google Glass, for example.
As input for tag insertion, only input image analysis may not always be used. For example, FlightRadar24, which displays, besides the actual image, the positions of all the aircraft just flying over your heads, considers GPS and compass data as input. Similar applications include, for example, Wikitraction AR or Sky Map navigation.
In the case of AR, the hardware is not a complex technology, the main part of the resulting effect is on the software side. Of course, it is possible to program “from scratch,” but it is also possible to use some programs such as BuildAR, Wikitude SDK, or Metaio solutions to create a user-friendly application even under “home conditions”.
Augmented reality in production
Augmented reality finds its place in production as well, there is a lot of opportunities to use it. In general, the expanded reality is particularly useful in logistics (according to DHL’s study, there are 11 possible ways of using AR), in hall planning and prototyping, and in virtual training.
Use in logistics
Pick-By-Vision solutions represent the greatest opportunity to use extended reality. It should be noted that no complete, commercially viable solution yet exists. The good news is, however, that Knapp, SAP, and Ubimax are in the testing stages for full commercial use. The vision of such a solution shown in Figure 3 is as follows. Warehouses will wear special glasses, displaying the requirements for picking up. Tasks are assigned either according to the occupation or according to which warehouse is closest. The warehouse is gradually navigated into individual aisles where it finds the relevant article. By simply looking at the bar code, the status of the item is changed to “transport” in the information system.
Another elaborated vision is to facilitate the general transport of goods by one car for more customers. For example, in the case of mail-order companies, according to the above-mentioned DHL study, 40-60% of the time spends the driver out of the distribution center and does not drive the car. This vision assumes a system that will intelligently navigate the driver (or driver) in the process of placing the goods in the truck according to the dimensions and the generated order of delivery addresses. Using spectacles will not only efficiently and efficiently store the car but also quickly locate the item on delivery.
Companies have already begun using AR Navigation to speed up the process of Last-mile delivery, which is a final customer’s transport. Within this process, it is often complicated to find the relevant house or a descriptive number, and within the AR navigation system, it is possible to “show the 3D arrow” directly to the given address.
Planning of hall deployment and prototyping
Augmented Reality is being used wherever part of reality is physically present, and the rest is only available in the virtual form of 3D models. For example, it is possible to add missing parts of the prototype to digital data, part of a production line that is only at the design stage. Then it is possible to perform verification in reality but over virtual models. Augmented reality is a very fast and inexpensive option.
Case study: Installation of a siphon with augmented reality
At the University Laboratory at the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, there is a model workplace that serves to assemble a siphon. This model workplace performs ergonomic analyses to help optimize work. The purpose of this case study was to create an interactive AR guide for this workplace, which should provide a clear visualization of the whole siphon assembly process. Using this interactive tutorial should accelerate the process of training new employees, minimizing product completion errors for existing employees or end customers.
Thanks to the manual, the employee is able to acquire individual assembly procedures directly during the assembly process, and without having to study the working instructions, he/she learns directly during the work. Furthermore, this manual prevents the creation of a faulty assembly or the creation of an incomplete unit, which will have an effect on reducing the number of claims. The introduction of AR in assembly activities decreases or decreases. eliminates the need for additional written assembly procedures. The undisputed advantage is that the whole assembly process is described and can be used by any employee of the company at any time. There will not be a situation where only one person in the process knows the process. Using AR in assembly increases human performance, reduces the time required to complete the task, reduces errors, and reduces cognitive load.
Augmented reality as part of everyday life
Augmented reality is a modern trend in the use of information technology. Today, each smartphone owner has the appropriate hardware in the pocket. The truth remains that few people present semi-transparent glasses today as part of our everyday lives, but we also thought about smartphones as well. It is clear that the outlined solutions are applicable in manufacturing, with the assumption that there is a greater degree of use of semi-permeable glass technology.