Published on October 6th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Audi brings gesture control to the production process
When Minority Report came out over a decade ago, much like most other sci-fi movies it provided an interpretation of the what the future would be like. The atmosphere, the culture, and most importantly- the technology. One of the parts of Minority Report that has been referred to over the past few years has been the ability to operate a computer using gesture control.
And since then, we’ve had various incarnations of a gesture control system, although none of them feel particularly solid or fluid. Perhaps all we needed was the involvement of one of the largest industries in the world- the automotive industry. Audi has been touting their planned use of new technology to speed up and optimize production, and one such technology is gesture control.
For now, gesture control is going to be implemented in the pre-production stage of a model. In assembling any new model, there needs to be careful design on the steps taken to put the components together. The more complex the design, the more difficult it may be to assemble components- and using gesture control is one way to ensure the tasks required are feasible for a plant worker.
The system operates on an enclosed room with projectors, where users wear 3D glasses to see the components floating in the 3D space. For the time being, a game controller is employed to move components around the space, but Audi is looking into integrating the Myo armband into the system for a more realistic approach.
The armband tracks the position of the limb in conjunction with a Kinect camera. On the whole the system allows the engineers to see and replicate how a plant worker would move and manipulate components, and this in turn allows for more accurate design of the assembly line. In the coming months, Audi will be fast-tracking the system towards full pre-production use- up to 3 years before a model even hits the assembly line.