Design Evolution of a Mixed Reality Factory System

Abstract

We will demonstrate successive and final stages in the iterative design of a complex mixed reality system in a real-world factory setting. In collaboration with TCHO, a chocolate maker in San Francisco, we built a virtual “mirror” world of a real-world chocolate factory and its processes. Sensor data is imported into the multi-user 3D environment from hundreds of sensors and a number of cameras on the factory floor. The resulting virtual factory is used for simulation, visualization, and collaboration, using a set of interlinked, real-time layers of information. It can be a stand-alone or a web-based application, and also works on iOS and Android cell phones and tablet computers. A unique aspect of our system is that it is designed to enable the incorporation of lightweight social media-style interactions with co-workers along with factory data. Through this mixture of mobile, social, mixed and virtual technologies, we hope to create systems for enhanced collaboration in industrial settings between physically remote people and places, such as factories in China with managers in the US.