Industrial training with real and virtual models

Simulation is relied upon by many industries to support the design of new products; the modelling and study of characteristics or behaviour can save precious time. Yet engineers still need to touch and feel real physical components in order to optimise the process.

Project BREVIE bridges the two worlds of the real and the virtual, paving the way for a new era of simulation technology. By combining real world phenomena and virtual world simulations, participants have developed a Graspable User Interface. This allows people to change between operations on real physical objects and their three-dimensional (3D) virtual counterparts. The result is a complex construction kit suitable for vocational training in production automation.

A number of technologies are employed. To capture an image of a pneumatic circuit and create a 3D virtual circuit, the software calls on pattern recognition algorithms and image processing. It relies also on visualisation and animation techniques imported from the virtual reality domain.

The BREVIE stand demonstrates the construction kit's potential for industrial training. Students lay out a pneumatic circuit using real components, thanks to a combination of real equipment and 3D virtual reality. The components are then scanned into a computer to produce two-dimensional schematic diagrams or full 3D virtual reality circuits, on which test runs and simulations can be done on-screen. There are plans to further develop and exploit the system, applying the same basic concepts to other domains such as electro-pneumatics, mechatronics and robotics.

Contact Volker BRAUER, University of Bremen
tel +49 421 218 9090
fax +49 421 218 4449
email vob@artec.uni-bremen.de
website www.brevie.uni-bremen.de/

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