EMPIR project video of dynamic tracking with six degrees of freedom using photogrammetry available

Image showing Automated robotic assembly and machining in an autonomous factory
Automated robotic assembly and machining in an autonomous factory

Supporting automated and reconfigurable manufacturing systems

The project

EMPIR project Dynamic applications of large volume metrology in industry of tomorrow environments (DynaMITE, 20IND02) is working to provide traceable dynamic aspects of large volume metrology, a critical requirement in many high value industries such as aerospace, automotive, civil engineering, energy and power generation, where the EU is globally competitive.  

The project will deliver improved, dynamic-capable and traceable measuring systems for operational use, that can function in typical & harsh factory environments. These new tools will support the digitalisation that can integrate factory production and assembly process controls. Traceable metrology and connectivity between devices can then enable automated tool and facility reconfiguration, which could be applied to manufacturing lighter-weight aircraft or more efficient automotive production.

Video on the demonstration of low-cost photogrammetric tracking of more than 50 objects

The video shows a demonstration of several aspects of the photogrammetry work in the project, concentrating on demonstrating that the project consortium has developed the capability to track more than 50 objects with six degrees of freedom in real-time using inexpensive photogrammetry.

Six degrees of freedom (6DoF, i.e. X, Y, Z, θ, φ, ω) refers to the number of axes that a rigid body is able to freely move in three-dimensional space. It is a common concept used for example in machinery, robotics, manufacturing, 3D modelling, video game design, and the human body.

Part 1: introduces the network and the motion devices and robots. The split screen view shows the real-world view on the left and the data output (3D tracking) on the right; visible are the reference targets defining the network as well as the 6DoF solutions for the moving/moveable targets.

Part 2:  introduces handheld tools and objects, showing how the system can track tools and parts being maneuvered by operators.

Part 3: is the demonstration of the tracking at > 10 m/s with frame rates up to 100 Hz being available.

Part 4: shows the simultaneous tracking of 50+ objects (the operator selects each object in turn for display, though the software is tracking them all in the background).

The video will be of interest to industrial users of robotics in assembly and manufacturing operations as it shows the ability of relatively inexpensive hardware to fulfil several roles in an automated factory environment. Application areas throughout the Industry 4.0 paradigm are foreseen especially inside automated autonomous ‘Factories of the Future’.

Project Coordinator Andrew Lewis from NPL said 

'Photogrammetry is already a widespread technology for making 3D measurements over relatively large volumes. The work demonstrated in the video shows how relatively cheap photogrammetry can now be used both at high speed (high frame rates) and also with targets moving at high speeds, yet still be able to provide robust data for use by robot controllers or by an automated factory network. The same hardware can now follow items such as Autonomously Guided Vehicles and mobile robots as they are repositioned within a factory at high speed, and then offer high data rate, for example to provide inputs to closed-loop control of robot end effectors during alignment or positioning operations. The ability to track over 50 items in both 3D space and with 3 rigid body rotations demonstrates how the technology can handle multiple structures simultaneously’.

This EMPIR project is co-funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and the EMPIR Participating States.

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