Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Virtual Factory On The Tabletop

Date:
December 14, 2007
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Many industrial processes involve reactions in places that are difficult to see directly. A novel tabletop touch screen allows hidden sequences of events to be observed in progress. It can be operated intuitively using a combination of fingers and recognizes swiping movements. A crowd of people is gathered around a large table with an illuminated surface, on which images of a journey through pipes and machines in a factory are being displayed. Users can select individual components by touching the corresponding image with a finger. The objects can be rotated and observed by swiping a finger over them -- and the same method can be used to watch a process in slow motion.

The virtual table is a large table with an illuminated surface, on which images of a almost any process can be displayed. Users can select individual components by touching the corresponding image with a finger. The objects can be rotated and observed by swiping a finger over them – and the same method can be used to watch a process in slow motion.
Credit: Image courtesy of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

Many industrial processes involve reactions in places that are difficult to see directly. A novel tabletop touch screen allows hidden sequences of events to be observed in progress. It can be operated intuitively using a combination of fingers and recognizes swiping movements.

A crowd of people is gathered around a large table with an illuminated surface, on which images of a journey through pipes and machines in a factory are being displayed. Users can select individual components by touching the corresponding image with a finger. The objects can be rotated and observed by swiping a finger over them – and the same method can be used to watch a process in slow motion. By drawing apart their two index fingers on the table surface, users can enlarge the image and zoom in on a detail, such as a bay wheel scooping up hundreds of thousands of plastic granules.

The Multi-Touch Table provides a tangible virtual replication of processes that normally take place hidden inside networks of pipes: How does the process work? What are its advantages?

The large, industrial-scale display table was developed by researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD in Darmstadt. “The table is already being used by the Coperion Group of companies,” relates IGD project manager Michael Zöllner. “It allows customers to observe the entire process chain of plastics manufacturing and processing. They can watch in real time as the granulate flows through the pipes and regulate the speed by swiping a finger over the image.” The researchers worked with colleagues at the Steinbeis Institute Design and Systems on the development of this application.

So how does the touch screen work? Infrared LEDs emit light into the Plexiglas® surface of the display at a horizontal angle. This light is internally totally reflected within the acrylic sheet, which allows none of the light to escape. A finger placed on the surface changes its reflective properties, enabling light to emerge. This light is captured by an infrared camera installed beneath the table. Although the system is based on well-known principles, various challenges still had to be overcome.

“The surface of acrylic sheets is too smooth to resolve finger movements. Our solution was to apply a special coating,” says Zöllner. Another problematic aspect was how to project the images. “To obtain a large, bright, undistorted image, the optical path has to be relatively long – something that is difficult to achieve within the confines of the table below the display. We had to affect the optical path itself, by using mirrors to keep it short,” the research scientist explains. As for the user interface, the researchers made sure that it could be used easily and intuitively. After all, nobody wants to have to follow complicated technical instructions when meeting with customers or visiting a museum.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Virtual Factory On The Tabletop." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071206231449.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2007, December 14). Virtual Factory On The Tabletop. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071206231449.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Virtual Factory On The Tabletop." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071206231449.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) — Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

MIT's Robot Cheetah Unleashed — Can Now Run, Jump Freely

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — MIT developed a robot modeled after a cheetah. It can run up to speeds of 10 mph, though researchers estimate it will eventually reach 30 mph. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Manufacturer Prints 3-D Car In Record Time

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) — Automobile manufacturer Local Motors created a drivable electric car using a 3-D printer. Printing the body only took 44 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Refurbished New York Subway Tunnel Unveiled After Sandy Damage

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 15, 2014) — New York officials unveil subway tunnels that were refurbished after Superstorm Sandy. Nathan Frandino reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:  

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile iPhone Android Web
    Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins