One of OptoFidelity’s key areas of operation in Finland is providing design services for manufacturers of intelligent machines. Our aim is to act as a strategic technology partner to our customers and to actively participate in the industry’s research and development activities. One of the main focuses of our R&D activities in recent years was participation in the FAMOUS project initiated by FIMA (Forum for Intelligent Machines). The project’s objective was to improve the safety and efficiency of worksites that will use semi-autonomous machines developed in the future. The project, which ended recently, resulted in new solutions for motion and distance sensors for work machines, as well as solutions for anti-collision and teleoperation systems, among other things. OptoFidelity’s research and development activities focused in particular on the development of teleoperation systems, i.e., remote control.
Three-dimensional platform provides improved depth perception for operators
Technology Manager Kimmo Jokinen, who presented the results of the project at a FIMA seminar, stated that OptoFidelity’s development activities in the FAMOUS (Future Autonomous Machines for Safe and Efficient Worksites) project focused on the development of a three-dimensional teleoperation platform. The new type of platform solves the problems related to depth perception in a traditional two-dimensional teleoperation system.
The need for a new technical tool in the field of teleoperation was identified at the beginning of the project. This served as a basis for creating the first concept for a three-dimensional teleoperation system which will help improve the operator’s efficiency and safety by providing him/her with a sufficient amount of important information relating to the process.
OptoFidelity’s FAMOUS working group implemented the successfully piloted 3D teleoperation platform using two stereo cameras and 3D display technology, and by developing technical solutions for the temporal synchronization and processing of image data on a computer in real time. Utilizing the same stereo camera technology, the project also developed a 3D reconstruction feature, which allows the operator to point at the desired object in the 3D view and, for example, automatically direct the work machine’s actuator or grab to the desired position in the 3D space.
Development activities will be continued in cooperation with customers
3D teleoperation technology offers a variety of possibilities for further development, particularly with regard to improvements in performance and usability. OptoFidelity will continue its product development in customer-specific projects and separate product development projects. Sites with high motion speeds require better video latency, i.e., that video images are displayed in real time. More angles of view are needed to allow the operator to have as much situational awareness as possible. Once displays with 4K resolution enter the market, autostereoscopic display technology will be the 3D technology that offers new and promising areas for development. Technological enablers include display devices with 4K resolution, 3D viewers, and autostereoscopic display technology.
Results of the FAMOUS project (login required)
OptoFidelity Kimmo Jokinen: firstname.lastname@example.org