Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Remote Assistance for Real World Tasks via the Internet

Greetings from HCC (and friends) at the Australian National Unviersity in Canberra, where Matt Adcock (CSIRO) is talking about Depth Sensing Cameras . CSIRO is research "remote assistance" where a worker is provided with assistacne over the internet from an expert at a remote location. One example is CSIRO’s ReMoTe (Remote Mobile Tele Assistance) for mine workers and RIDES (Remote Immersive Diagnostic Examination) for health workers. These systems rely on use of specialized sensors. More recent research uses the Microsoft Kinect games sensor and uses WebML for display, to provide a low cost system.

The Kinect comes with basic code for developers to detect the location of people and their limbs in a scene, but not positioning of fingers, as would be required for manual tasks. With additional software the Kinnect can be used to create a virtual multi-touch interface.

As well as maintenance and medical uses, this interface might be applicable to military uses. This would include interpretation of Army Hand and Arm Signals. As an example, a mule vehicle carrying supplies for a patrol could be controlled with the same hand signals as used for communication between personnel. Another use would be the control of complex operations, such as the Airbus Military Aerial Refuelling Boom System (ARBS) for Airbus A330 MRTT tanker aircraft, which has proved problematic with more conventional controls.

The technology also has potential for domestic use, enhancing video conferences and for scanning the inside of a room for virtual redecorating.

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