WCL part of the new Innovative Manufacturing CRC


The WCL will be working with Jumbo Vision International on a project titled “Visualization Tools for the Design of Manufactured High End Instrumented Facilities”.

Currently the design of manufactured high end instrumented facilities (such as command centres and control panels) is one of working almost entirely in the virtual world. The physical space and layout of such systems demands high level 3D spatial visualizations from the stakeholders. Instead of visualizing a command centre with virtual reality tools or expensive physical prototypes, this project will explore white painted lightweight wooden objects that would be built to the external dimensions of the major components of the centre and the details of the workstation will be projected onto them via large scale augmented reality.

The current process of decision making is time consuming. A major effort is the externalisation of the clients’ needs and requirements. Normal practices require a large number design meetings iterating over concepts that are present as either engineering drawings or 3D static renderings. The use of animations with fly-throughs and guided tours allow for a more immersive experience, but the clients lack the tools to manipulate the concept themselves.

This project wishes to investigate a set of novel tools that allows design teams to manage a process of the clients to manipulate the design concepts. To do this, we will place the clients in physical environment that emulates the final high end instrumented facility. The end users will be able to view the command centre from any vantage point by merely walking. The configuration of workstations or controls on the panels can be modified by physical moving the physical prototypes or manipulating the virtual information projected onto the prototypes.

To make these tools useful for the manufacturer, this new design methodology must be embedded in the company’s current design process. Issues of data transfer, operation semantics, workflows, and process planning will have to be addressed.


Bruce Thomas

Author: Bruce Thomas

I am the current the Director of the Wearable Computer Laboratory at the University of South Australia. I am currently a NICTA Fellow, CTO A-Rage Pty Ltd, and visiting Scholar with the Human Interaction Technology Laboratory, University of Washington. I am the inventor of the first outdoor augmented reality game ARQuake. My current research interests include: wearable computers, user interfaces, augmented reality, virtual reality, CSCW, and tabletop display interfaces. My academic qualifications include the following: 1) B.A. in Physics, George Washington University; 2) M.S. in Computer Science, University of Virginia with a thesis titled: Pipeline Pyramids in Dynamic Scenes; and 3) Ph.D. in Computer Science, Flinders University with a thesis titled: Animating Direct Manipulation in Human Computer Interfaces My experience includes working at the School of Computer and Information Science, University of South Australia since 1990. I have run my own computer consultancy company. I was a Computer Scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (A major US government laboratory for the Department of Commerce.), and a software engineer for the Computer Sciences Corporation and the General Electric Company.