Augmented Reality Project

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Things have been going good over the past few weeks I have got alot done. My total hours so far this summer has been 60 hours. These past few weeks I have been trying to get the fickr onto the blogg, I still can not figure out how to do that but I am going to try a few more things. I have read the paper and learned alot of information. I new the the basics of alot of it but it was good to read it all in depth I have printed them off and highlighted things that I did not know and the things that I found interesting. Because I have not taken the course on local anesthia alot of that information was new to me. I did not know that some dental school have instigated the use of stimulated patients called DentSims to serve as models for skills application. The DentSims mannequins of the head and neck that have the same intra-oral anatomical features of an acual human patient. But the problem is they cant see intra-oral clinical features. A huge benifit to the 3D virtual objects will be that the studnet would be able to see their technique for anesthia from needle penetration to the deposition of the anesthetic at the correct anatomical site. This would allow them to experience visual and sensory percepts and develop relationships between theory and practice, thus minimizing the trail and error process for successful administration of local anesthia. The purpose of artifical environments is to over come these difficulties while at the same time maintaining the ability to teach abstractions directly through reification. In addition, as the students will experience haptic feedback related to the penetration of soft tissue, osseous contact, aspiration and depostion of anesthetic. There is alot more I have learned and have it all highlighted and summerized on the papers. I am going to continue working on the flickr and continue searching through the diff. web sites this week.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Things have been going well. I have been learning alot. I have created a Flickr with the pictures from Orlando, but I am still trying to firgure out how to put the Flickr that I have created onto the blog. So this week and the end of next week I hope to have that loaded onto the blog. I have also cont. to look at the different web sites and have learned alot. I am still reading the papers that Proff. Hanson has written, my goal is to have them both read and summerized by what I already knew and what I have learned and post it next week. I have spent 6 hours this week so far.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

At the Dental Educators Meeting the project was accepted to go to Orlando! It was also recoginzed at the Donor Lunch In for undergraduate research.
The Senior have graduated and are on their way out into the working field of Dental Hygiene. They have researched and done alot for the Augmented Reality project. I and two other student are going to continue their findings on this project over the next year.

I have just started with this project and I am going to continue the research over the summer. My objectives to begin with are as follows:
1) To get familiar with the Mac- I have been playing around with it, it is alot different then what I am used to. It's hard to get the hang of it but hopefully with time it will get better.
2) I am also going to explore the different web sites we are using for this project, to help me get familiar with those.
3) I have started to read two papers that Prof. Hanson has written about the project so that I have a better understanding and knowledge about the project.
4) I am going to figure out how to add pictures to the blogg and create a flicker of the pictures from Orlando and post them on the blogg, and also change the template of the blogg.

Our Future Objectives are to:
1) Look at Jazz Studio and make our own 3D objects
2) Investigate visual and magnetic trackers
3)Learn about plug ins

I have alot to get working on as you can see. I am excited and a little overwhelmed with it because I dont have alot of knowledge to start out with and I have alot to figure out but I excited to read about it and continue the research. I have spent about 6 hours so far helping at the lunch in and doing some reading on my own time.

Monday, November 14, 2005

We have returned from the summer and are now in the fall semester 2005. We submitted a proposal for funding to purchase equipment for our project. We will be purchasing the "flock of birds" sensor system and the one of the omni haptics packages. We will also purchase our 3D image from Zygote. We also made a proposal for funding to send Marie, Heidi and I to the ADEA conference in Orlando, Florida. We have not yet heard back from the conference or the undergraduate research board. We hope to hear confirmation around the first week of December.
  • We have come across a step in our project that we overlooked. Our AR team and the independent computer science consultants and Brett Shelton from Utah State all thought that when we purchased the Flock of Birds sensor package, we would also receive the appropriate software, "rendering engine," that would basically integrate all the different parts. We were mistaken and we will not get the software from the Flock of Birds. This poses a problem for the continuation of our research.

Rendering is defined as taking a set of data points (XYZ) in a virtual world nd drawing them on the computer screen in a 2D image. Our project entails taking a 2D image seen through the HMD and trying to make it into a 3D image. It is relatively easy to program around three data points from one source but it is more difficult to take data points from different sources and incorporate them into one image. This means that we need some institute that is either using a rendering engine all ready programed that we can use at our University, or incorporate a computer science students from a University that has a rendering engine to come on board our project, it also means that we could hire a programmer that would be full time on our project. These are just ideas, we have not made any decisions at this time but we will need to in the next couple of weeks.

An important part of our haptics and sensor system is having the computer able to recognize a change in material on our 3D object and then having the information from the computer able to be recognized by the stylus/ haptics piece. When choosing sensors, we need to know if the sensors are able to give a set of data points to say "what is where." We also need to find our how good our software is, we now know that we have no software.
  • The combination of the two should result in "relative position." meaning, Our image and the computer tells us in"real time" where the stylus is in position to the head.

According to one of our Independent consultants, Lynden Jones, if we do not have the appropriate software, which we do not, it would take longer then our January deadline to program software to our specific requirements. However, we have come across a "rendering engine" that we can purchase from called worldtoolkit, costing around $10,000. We have another opportunity to request funding, deadline Dec 1, 2005, if that is what needs to happen for our project to continue.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Today is our last day of the summer extetion of our research project. We will continue our research starting fall semester 2005. We will also hopefully implementing our project during the local anesthesia courses starting in October 2005. Today we discussed how we thought our research was progressing and any ideas of how we could improve during the fall. We will be including in our research team Heidi Law, another Dental Hygiene undergraduate research student who will be taking over the majority of the project during the fall.

We have submitted proposals for further funding from our specific college at Weber State University and we will continue to wait for any kind of word from them. We will then be able to purchase the equipment needed to implement.

The undergraduate research students on the team have started to write their bachelor thesis paper and should be able to complete the entirity of it except for the results section which will be in October 2005.

We have submitted to numerous research conferences as mentioned in past blogs and hope to be accepted to present our research at one or all of them.

Our knowledge of augmented reality/ mixed reality has significantly expanded and our research project is well underway for implementation. We feel that our summer hours have been spent very productively and that our project can benefit the dental hygiene department and can be expanded eventually to benefit other healthcare departments at Weber State University.

This blog will continue when the fall semester 2005 begins.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Today we went to Utah State University and met with Asst. Prof. Brett Shelton, PhD. He was very patient and helpful in sharing his views on where we stand with our project and where we should be headed in the future. We really appreciate his willingness to share his time and his vast knowledge with us! Here are a number of things we discussed with Prof. Shelton.

There are different advantages and disadvantages of DAZ studio vs. Zygote for creating an image to work with. We like the idea of using Zygote because they seem willing to help us develop whatever we need for our project. But, the best order to work would be to consider sensors first, then haptics, then the HMD, and leave the actual image as the last consideration. We need to decide what kind of tracking system we plan on purchasing. Find out how closely they can track accuracy. Find out what kind of support they offer for movement, etc. Start with the sensing system and find out how well they work with the 3D image program we use (either DAZ or Zygote). Ask what HMD’s they recommend and what kind of resolution they know works best with their sensors. Check to make sure of what kind of files they render and then make sure DAZ or Zygote can support those files. Aslo make sure that the haptics we want to use will be compatible. With remote sensing, wireless would be better for the range of movement, etc. Smaller sensors would better fill our needs for this project.

We discussed VRML. It was created to work more quickly with the internet, but the clarity and resolution shouldn’t be affected. We don’t know yet if our expectations are too high for ARToolkit.

It would be a good idea to have students practice the injections with the underlying structures visible, and then practice again with those structures covered to get a better idea of what it will be like on a real person.

Eventually, see-through glasses would be better for this project because then it would not be necessary to attach a camera.

We realized today that not only do we need to be able to receive feedback from the syringe, but also from the other hand as it pulls back the cheek and feels for anatomical landmarks. This will require additional sensors! It will be very difficult to make it feel like you really have your finger in a person’s mouth. The structures won’t manipulate like they would on a real person. For the pilot project we will probably only be able to SEE structures. The most important thing right now is for us to get this pilot project up and running so that we can open the door for future funding to further this research.

When we told Prof. Shelton that we wanted to try and present our research at the international level, he suggested that we look at the ISMAR conference, which is aimed toward this type of technology. He thought it was a great idea for us to present internationally and encouraged us to pursue this goal.

The last thing we did was to take a tour of the Creative Learning Environment (CLE) computer lab, which Prof. Shelton helped to launch at Utah State. We really appreciate all his help today and hope to continue working with him in the future!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

We found out that the meeting for the undergraduate research commitee is to be held sometime this week and therefore our purpose for todays meeting is to prepare our proposal for further funding. We contacted all the companies that we plan to purchase materials from for more specific estimate of cost and detailed information about the products we intend to purchase.

The companies included:
  • Ascention technologies- flock of birds tracking system
  • Zygote- male human anatomy 3d image (we discovered this company through a google search which took us to "Turbo Squid" which is an independent contractor company that has compiled a webpage of different 3d images from different companies.)
We emailed the specifics of our project to each of these companies and are now waiting for a response and a price quote.
We have set up a meeting with Brett Shelton, a professor and expert in mixed reality at Utah State University in Logan. He will help us to know how to progress and what the next phases of our pilot project might be.