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Outdoor Augmented Reality

Outdoor Augmented Reality (AR) is a challenging research field where off-the-self mobile devices are used for registering 3D graphics within unconstrained outdoor environments. In contrast to existing backpack head-mounted display systems, we believe that in near future, ultra-mobile PCs (UMPCs) and smartphones are the devices of choice for outdoor AR applications. This document summarizes all on-going projects at Graz University of Technology towards developing a handheld AR platform based on the Studierstube environment.

 

News

 



Global Pose Estimation using Multi-Sensor Fusion for Outdoor Augmented Reality


   

Outdoor Augmented Reality typically requires tracking in unprepared environments. For global registration, Global Positioning System (GPS) is currently the best sensing technology, but its precision and update rate are not sufficient for high quality tracking. We present a system that uses Kalman filtering for fusion of Differential GPS (DGPS) or Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) based GPS with barometric heights and also for an inertial measurement unit with gyroscopes, magnetometers and accelerometers to improve the transient oscillation. Typically, inertial sensors are subjected to drift and magnetometer measurements are distorted by electro-magnetic fields in the environment. For compensation, we additionally apply a visual orientation tracker which is drift-free through online mapping of the unknown environment. This tracker allows for correction of distortions of the 3-axis magnetic compass, which increases the robustness and accuracy of the pose estimates. We present results of applying this approach in an industrial application scenario.
 

 
presented @ ISMAR 2009, Orlando [ video ... ] [ full paper ... ] [ demo ... ]




  • Vidente: Status Quo of the Project as of December 2006
    [ AVI - 35M ] - Codecs: DIVX & MP3
     
  • Vidente: Submition Video to ISMAR 2006 of the Context Sensitive Magic Lenses
    [ AVI - 48M ] - Codecs: XVID & MP3
     
  • Vidente: Conceptual video shown at the Smallworld Users Group 2006 in Dresden, Germany
    [ AVI - 112M ] - Codecs: XVID & MP3
     
  • IPCity: The video shows the AR scout in combination with interactive 3D reconstruction
    [ AVI - 40M ]
     

 

AR Outdoor Projects

 



POMAR3D: Module for determining position and orientation of a mobile augmented reality-client for a real-time 3D-visualization of subsurface infrastructure lines


   

Outdoor Augmented Reality typically requires tracking in unprepared environments. For global registration, Global Positioning System (GPS) is currently the best sensing technology, but its precision and update rate are not sufficient for high quality tracking. We present a system that uses Kalman filtering for fusion of Differential GPS (DGPS) or Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) based GPS with barometric heights and also for an inertial measurement unit with gyroscopes, magnetometers and accelerometers to improve the transient oscillation. Typically, inertial sensors are subjected to drift and magnetometer measurements are distorted by electro-magnetic fields in the environment. For compensation, we additionally apply a visual orientation tracker which is drift-free through online mapping of the unknown environment. This tracker allows for correction of distortions of the 3-axis magnetic compass, which increases the robustness and accuracy of the pose estimates. We present results of applying this approach in an industrial application scenario.
 

 
presented @ ISMAR 2009, Orlando [ video ... ] [ full paper ... ] [ demo ... ]



Smart Vidente: Subsurface Mobile Augmented Reality Technology for Outdoor Infrastructure Workers


   

SMART VIDENTE focuses on research on the next-generation field information system for utility companies, providing mobile workforces with capabilities for on-site inspection and planning, data capture and as-built surveying. For achieving this aim, handheld Augmented Reality technology is used for on-site modification and surveying of geometric and semantic attributes of geospatial 3D models on the user’s handheld device. The project aims at providing a fully functional handheld Augmented Reality device for utility field workers. To achieve this goal, we require a software solution that can visualize registered three-dimensional underground models in real time. Registration in 3D requires being able to perform accurate global localization and posing tracking in real time without relying on unrealistic assumptions concerning prior scene knowledge. We will address this issue through fusion of vision, inertial and GPS sensors. Visualization requires the rendering of complex 3D models of underground infrastructure in a way that is easily comprehensible and useful to the mobile worker. This requires visualization techniques for geometric as well as non-geometric information from the geo-database, in particular of hidden objects through so-called “X-ray vision”. These visualization techniques need to be adaptive to scene complexity and environmental conditions. The threedimensional geometry to be shown is not available per default, but must be extracted from a conventional database system and interpreted on-the-fly as a 3D visualization using procedural modeling techniques. We want to support annotation and even surveying tasks in the field, so the system must also allow to write information back to the geo-database. Finally, we will work with three large Austrian infrastructure companies to assess the usability of our solutions.
 
[ more ... ]



Hydrosys


   

The research aim of the HYDROSYS project is to provide a system infrastructure to support teams of users in the on-site monitoring of events and analysis of natural resources. The project will introduce the innovative concept of event-driven campaigns using handheld devices, potentially supported by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Event-driven campaigns provide users the capacity to analyse and predict environmental changes on-site, supporting the process of taking appropriate countermeasures to avoid environmental degradation. During these campaigns, users will be able to setup and retrieve data from mobile sensorstations, the UAV and external sources (such as permanent sensor networks) in order to generate dense information on a small area. The whole sensor network system will gather and store sensor data, and process simulations based on physical process models. Hence, a shared information system fusing heterogeneous data sources will be provided that supports teams of stakeholders to monitor environmental processes on-site, complementing remote monitoring and management. To enrich the data sets from a specific location, additional remotely controlled cameras will be deployed, mounted on sensorstations and below the UAV. Users will be able to analyse the environment using mobile phones and handheld computers, supported by advanced user interface techniques.The project will improve monitoring and management for environmental scientists, institutions, service providers, engineering companies and municipalities through its strong integration of handhelds and sensor networks. The project will progress well beyond the current state in the art, by dealing with short-term events and detailed analysis of small sites. The analysis of such events is hardly supported by current methods, but has a large impact on environmental degradation. Furthermore, information is made available to citizens by providing mechanisms to access top-level environmental data. Within the project, cutting edge inter-disciplinary research will be performed to develop user-centered solutions. When the data is integrated with analytical tools in a shared information space it will also aid a wide range of managers and planners pursuing more environmentally sensitive solutions to engineering problems. To aid the process, the research is steered by considerable end-user involvement in all its phases.
 
[ more ... ]



IPCity: Interaction and Presence in Urban Renewal


   

The research aim of the IPCity project is to investigate analytical and technological approaches to presence in real life settings. Analytically, this includes extending the approaches to presence accounting for the participative and social constitution of presence, the multiplicity and distribution of events in time and space. Technologically, this translates into developing portable environments for on-site configuration, mobile and light-weight mixed reality interfaces with the ambition to weave them into "the fabric of everyday life". Methodologically, this calls for moving "out of the lab" with field trials in real settings, applying a triangulation of disciplines and methods for evaluation. These range from interpretative-ethnographic to quasi-experimental approaches and include cognitive science, social-psychological, and cultural-anthropological disciplines. The vision of the IPCity project is to provide citizens, visitors, as well as professionals involved in city development or the organisation of events with a set of technologies that enable them to collaboratively envision, debate emerging developments, experience past and future views or happenings of their local urban environment, discovering new aspects of their city.
 
[ more ... ]



Vidente: Visualization of sub-surfaces features


   

Vidente addresses utilities and is meant to support the field work process. Field workers with utilities will be equipped with a mobile device such as a Mini Tablet PC. This device can be pointed towards a particular surface subsection of interest. Depending on the device's position and orientation, the field worker will be provided in real time with a graphically plastic visualization of the subsurface network of cables and pipes for the chosen spot of interest. The x-ray vision made available on the screen of the mobile device merges real world vision with computer graphics generated from GIS data stores.
 
[ more ... ]



AR Scouting


   

AR scouting is a approach for information gathering in outdoor Augmented Reality applications. A scout is a person who is equipped with a light-weight mobile devices such as an ultra-mobile PC typically with a camera. In addition, tracking sensors such as a GPS receiver or an interia tracker can be applied for getting position and orientation information.
 
[ more ... ]


 

Hardware



Vesp´R: ...


   

Vesp`R addresses ...
 
[ more ... ]

 

Team

 

Dieter Schmalstieg | Research Group Leader
Gerhard Reitmayr | Smart Vidente
Gerhard Schall | Smart Vidente
Stefanie Zollmann | Smart Vidente
Markus Sareika | IPCity
Ernst Kruijff | Hydrosys
Eduardo Veas | Hydrosys
Erick Mendez | Hydrosys

 

website maintained by Gerhard Schall
last updated on 2009-14-12

copyright (c) 2006 Graz University of Technology