2019-108 – Design, Development, and Use of a Time Machine with Augmented Reality

Background The concern of large-scale infrastructure integrity is growing due to a vast number of structures worldwide that are currently operating beyond the designed 50-year service life. With further advancements in construction integrity, infrastructure will be expected to have greater than a century-long service life. Ensuring safe and efficient operation/performance of these infrastructures over time will require improvements in the processes used to evaluate structural integrity and perform structural inspections. Currently, building inspectors rely on nothing but images, notes, or videos to assess damages or plan maintenance operations. In contrast, emerging augmented reality (AR) tools typically feature a variety of sensors, computation, and communication resources that can enable relevant structural inspection data to be collected at very high resolution in an unambiguous manner. These tools typically feature not only visualization capabilities, but also 3D depth measurement, microphones, accelerometers, computational capabilities, wireless networking, and the ability to recognize both speech and gesture commands. They are also capable of localizing themselves in space relative to their environment. Thus, there is a critical need to incorporate AR tools to provide greater insight on structural integrity and reduce ambiguity in structural inspections. By comparing 3D point cloud events across time and space, the inspector will be able to quantify and observe differences across time, a human-centered tool for “change detection”. Technology Description Researchers at the University of New Mexico and Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a unique framework, using augmented reality (AR), to ensure the effective comparison and analysis of structures across time. The framework enables the user to overlay previous spatial environments onto the current physical reality, resulting in observations of different 3D realities at the same time. The technology produces high-resolution 3D measurements, including displacements, of a local environment or structure. Previously recorded spatial information can be stored and accessed by future generations for structural monitoring in latter stages of development or post damaging events. Management throughout all building phases (design, construction, maintenance, retrofit, replacement, and emergencies) can benefit from the utilization of AR monitoring. Change detection is enabled now at every scale, from seconds, to years, depending on the application. Augmented reality tools can be used to greatly enhance our ability to capture comprehensive, high-resolution, 3D measurements of structures as well as provide a means to interface humans to the data generated by sensor networks deployed on the structures. Andrew Roerick aroerick@innovations.unm.edu 505-277-0608

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