AREA member Bill Bernstein of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) shares his organization’s early work to improve AR interoperability.
Today, most industrial Augmented Reality (AR) implementations are based on prototypes built in testbeds designed to determine if some AR components are sufficiently mature to solve real world challenges. Since manufacturing is a mature industry, there are widely accepted principles and best practices. In the real world, however, companies “grow” their factories organically. There’s a vast mixing and matching of domain-specific models (e.g., machining performance models, digital solid models, and user manuals) tightly coupled with domain-agnostic interfaces (e.g., rendering modules, presentation modalities, and, in a few cases, AR engines).
As a result, after organizations have spent years developing their own one-off installations, integrating AR for visualizing these models is still largely a pipedream. Using standards could ease the challenges of integration, but experience with tying them all together in a practical solution is severely lacking.
To address the needs of engineers facing an array of different technologies under one roof, standards development organizations, such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), and the Khronos Group, have proposed standard representations, modules, and languages. Since the experts of one standards development organization (SDO) are often isolated from the experts in another domain or SDO when developing their specifications, the results are not easily implemented in the real world where there is a mixture of pre-existing and new standards. The problem of low or poor communications between SDOs during standard development is especially true for domain-agnostic groups (e.g., the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and Khronos Group) communicating with domain-heavy groups (e.g., The American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the MTConnect Institute, and the Open Platform Communications (OPC) Foundation).
However, both perspectives – domain-specific thinking (e.g., for manufacturing or field maintenance) and AR-specific and domain-agnostic concerns (e.g., real-world capture, tracking, or scene rendering) – are vital for successfully introducing and producing long term value from AR.
Smart Manufacturing Environments
In the case of smart manufacturing systems (SMS), SMS-specific standards (e.g., MTConnect and OPC-Unified Architecture) provide the necessary semantic and syntactic descriptions of concepts, such as information about devices, people, and materials. Figure 1 showcases the current state of an industrial AR prototype with examples of standards to inform processes.
Figure 1: General workflow for generating industrial AR prototypes. The dotted purple lines signify flows that are currently achieved through significant human labor and expertise.
From a high-level view, the AR community is focused on two separate efforts:
- Digitizing real-world information (shown on the left of Figure 1);
- Rendering and presenting AR scenes to the appropriate visualization modalities (shown on the right of Figure 1).
To produce successful and meaningful AR experiences, it is vital to connect to domain–specific models with domain-neutral technologies. In the current state of AR development where few or no standards have been implemented by vendors, this task is expert-driven and requires many iterations, human hours, and experience. There are significant opportunities for improvement if these transformations (indicated by the purple dashed lines in Fig. 1) could be automated.
In the Product Lifecyle Data Exploration and Visualization (PLDEV) project at NIST, we are experimenting with the idea of leveraging standards developed in the two separate worlds: geospatial and smart manufacturing or industry 4.0. One project, shown in Figure 2, integrates both IndoorGML, a standard to support indoor navigation, and CityGML, a much more detailed and expressive standard that can be used for contextually describing objects in buildings, with MTConnect, a standard that semantically defines manufacturing technologies, such as machine tools. All these standards have broad support in their separate communities. Seemingly every day, supporting tools that interface directly with these representations are pushed to public repositories.
Figure 2: One instance of combining disparate standards for quick AR prototype deployment for situational awareness and indoor navigation in smart manufacturing systems.
In Figure 2, we show the use of IndoorGML and CityGML in a machine shop that has previously been digitalized according to the MTConnect standard. In doing so, we leverage existing AR visualization tools to render the scene. We then connect to the streaming data from the shop to indicate whether a machine is available (green), unavailable (yellow), or in-use (red). Though this is a simple example, it showcases that when standards are appropriately implemented and deployed, developers can acquire capabilities “for free.” In other words, we can leverage domain-specific and -agnostic tools that are already built to support existing standards, helping realize a more interoperable AR prototyping workflow.
Future Research Directions
This project has also demonstrated significant future research opportunities in sensor fusion for more precise geospatial alignment between the digital and real worlds. One example is leveraging onboard sensors from automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and more contextually defined, static geospatial models described using OGC standards IndoorGML and CityGML.
Moving forward, we will focus on enhancing geospatial representations with additional context. For example, (1) leveraging such context for AGVs to treat task-specific obstacles (like worktables) differently than disruptive ones (like walls and columns) and (2) helping avoid safety hazards for human operators equipped with wearables by more intelligent rendering of digital objects. We are currently collaborating with the Measurement Science for Manufacturing Robotics program at NIST to investigate these ideas.
If successfully integrated, we will be able to demonstrate what we encourage others to practice: adoption of standards for faster and lower cost integrations as well as safer equipment installations and factory environments. Stay tuned for the next episode in this mashup of standards!
No endorsement of any commercial product by NIST is intended. Commercial materials are identified in this report to facilitate better understanding. Such identification does not imply endorsement by NIST nor does it imply the materials identified are necessarily the best for the purpose.
The post Mixing and Matching Standards to Ease AR Integration within Factories appeared first on AREA.
Another Subscription-Free Microsoft Office Version Scheduled For Release In 2021
KuCoin Exchange Hacked: $150 Million In Bitcoin and Ethereum Stolen
- Hot wallets of the popular cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin have been compromised and drained for at least $150 million worth of digital assets.
- The company reported the event as a “security incident” a few hours ago, reaffirming that “part of Bitcoin, ERC-20, and other tokens in KuCoin’s hot wallets were transferred out of the exchange.”
- The monitoring resource Whale Alert has tracked most coins sent to this particular address. In the past few hours, the address has seen numerous small transactions, possibly testing.
- Some of the less-known altcoins transferred out of the exchange’s hot wallets include DGTX, AGI, SNX, DX, SNT, DRGN, and more.
- To ensure that further unauthorized withdrawals cannot happen, KuCoin has suspended all deposits and withdrawals while conducting a “thorough security review.”
- The Singapore-based exchange asserted it had re-deployed the hot wallets after the incident. The statement reassured that the cold wallets are safe and unharmed, and users who have lost any funds will be reimbursed “completely by KuCoin and our insurance fund.”
- Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, among other prominent individuals within the industry, has shown support and promised that his company will “actively” assist during the investigation.
- The exchange’s native cryptocurrency felt the adverse consequences immediately. KuCoin Shares (KCS) plummeted from over $1 to $0.86 in minutes. Since then, the token’s price has recovered to some extent and trades just beneath $1.
Crypto Market Cap Gained $10 Billion, Bitcoin Eyes $11,000? (Saturday’s Market Watch)
The cryptocurrency market continues to rebound and has added another $10 billion to its market cap since yesterday. Bitcoin trades around $10,700, while some leading altcoins mark serious gains.
Bitcoin Price Trades Around $10,700
Following yesterday’s increase in which Bitcoin topped at $10,800, the primary cryptocurrency retraced to its intraday bottom at about $10,550. However, the bulls intercepted the price dip and drove the asset upwards once again. Just as 2020 goes so far, this Bitcoin spike followed the 1-2% gains seen on Wall Street at the Friday trading session.
The S&P 500 (1.6%), the Dow Jones Industrial Average (1.34%), and the Nasdaq Composite (2.26%) were all deep in the green.
At the time of this writing, BTC has dipped to $10,760 after getting rejected at the first major resistance at $10,790.
As per the analysis, if BTC price breaks above, it could head towards the next resistance at $11,000, followed by $11,200, $11,360, and $11,530. Alternatively, should the asset fall, it could rely on the support levels at $10,580, $10,440, and $10,390, if necessary.
Despite stocks and cryptocurrencies, gold had failed to increase: Recording an intraday high of $1,875, the precious metal dived and closed the session at $1,860.
Altcoins Gain Traction
Some alternative coins lost significant chunks of value lately, but they have been recovering in the past few days. Ethereum has continued its upward movement with another 3% increase to above $350.
Ripple has surged by 5% to $0.243. Bitcoin Cash (1%), Polkadot (3%), Binance Coin (1%), and Litecoin (3%) are also in the green from the top 10. However, Chainlink has outperformed them all by marking an 11% increase. LINK has overtaken BNB and DOT and currently occupies the 6th spot.
As it typically happens, the most volatile price moves come from mid and low-cap alts.
CyberVein leads with a 21% surge. Ren (20.5%), Yearn.Finance (17%), The Midas Touch Gold (14%), DFI.Money (14%), Cardano (11%), Zilliqa (11%), HedgeTrade (10.5%), and Nervos Network (10%) follow.
In total, the cryptocurrency market cap has increased by $10 billion since yesterday. On a 48-hour scale, the metric is up by 8% since its bottom at $319 billion to $344 billion.
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