Spatially-Aware Tool System
1. A method of displaying information from a construction plan comprising:
- electronically tracking a location and an orientation of an object;
calculating a spatial relationship between a construction plan and the location and the orientation of the object;
generating augmentation data based on the spatial relationship between the construction plan and the location and the orientation of the object; and
displaying an image that is representative of the augmentation data.
The systems described in this disclosure can be used in construction settings to facilitate the tasks being performed. The location of projectors and augmented reality headsets can be calculated and used to determine what images to display to a worker, based on a map of work to be performed, such as a construction plan. Workers can use spatially-aware tools to make different locations be plumb, level, or equidistant with other locations. Power to tools can be disabled if they are near protected objects.
- 1. A method of displaying information from a construction plan comprising:
electronically tracking a location and an orientation of an object; calculating a spatial relationship between a construction plan and the location and the orientation of the object; generating augmentation data based on the spatial relationship between the construction plan and the location and the orientation of the object; and displaying an image that is representative of the augmentation data.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
- 11. A method of tracking a construction tool within a frame of reference comprising:
receiving a first indication to calculate a first location of a construction tool; calculating the first location of the construction tool as a result of receiving the first indication; receiving a second indication to calculate a second location of the construction tool; calculating the second location of the construction tool as a result of receiving the second indication; generating a positional frame of reference based on the first location and the second location of the construction tool; tracking a third location and an orientation of the construction tool within the positional frame of reference; comparing the third location and the orientation of the construction tool relative to the positional frame of reference; calculating relative characteristics of the construction tool based on the comparing; generating augmentation data based on the relative characteristics; and providing the augmentation data to a user.
- View Dependent Claims (12, 13, 14, 15)
- 16. A method of displaying information from a construction plan comprising:
tracking a location and an orientation of a first object; tracking a location and an orientation of a second object; calculating a location and an orientation of a third object based on the location and the orientation of the first object and the location and the orientation of the second object; calculating a relationship between a construction plan and the location and the orientation of the third object; generating augmentation data based on the relationship between the construction plan and the location and the orientation of the third object; and displaying an image that is representative of the augmentation data.
- View Dependent Claims (17, 18, 19, 20)
The present application is a continuation of International Application No. PCT/US2019/058757, filed Oct. 30, 2019, which claims the benefit of and priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/753,389, filed Oct. 31, 2018, which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.
The present disclosure relates generally to the field of construction tools. Construction work generally requires non-digital hand tools such as tape measures, levels, and power tools that do not calculate their location. A worker refers to a construction plan, such as a blueprint, to identify work that needs to be performed.
In general, an embodiment of the disclosure relates to tracking the physical position of a spatially-aware tool, associating the physical position with a construction plan, generating augmentation data based on the association, and providing the augmentation data to the user. A projector displays an image based on the augmentation data representing the construction plan on the floors and walls in the room where work is to be performed. The projector positions the virtual objects in the image onto the physical locations where the physical objects will be located according to the construction plan.
The projector includes a toggle to allow a worker to switch the displayed image to a schematic of the construction plan. Workers familiar with reading construction plans can look at the projected image in a room and immediately understand what work has to be performed in which parts of the room.
When generating the image based on the augmentation data, the projector identifies the physical landscape of walls, ceiling(s) and floor(s) that the image will be projected on. The projector then generates the image based on the relationship between the physical landscape available to the projector and what objects in the construction plan will be installed in/on the physical landscape.
An augmented reality (AR) headset receives the augmented data and generates an augmented image to display to the worker wearing the AR headset. The augmented image includes a combination of the physical image in front of the AR headset and the worker, and a virtual image of objects from a construction plan. Images of the virtual objects are placed at locations in the augmented image that correspond to where the corresponding physical objects should be placed according to the construction plan.
In one embodiment, the location of a spatially-aware drill is compared against a map of delicate or dangerous objects, such as an electrical wire or water pipe that should be protected. The location of the protected object is based on a construction plan, or it may be based on an as-built model that reflects where object was actually installed. A distance between the drill bit tip and the protected object is monitored and compared to a threshold. When the distance is less than the threshold, power to the drill is disabled and the drill generates a signal to display to the worker why the drill'"'"'s power was disabled.
In one embodiment, a spatially-aware tool, such as a drill, is used to define an artificial frame of reference. First, a component of the drill is calibrated to the room, such as by calibrating the location of the drill bit tip by placing it against a spatially-tracked sensor. The tracked location of the drill bit tip is placed at an origin of the artificial frame of reference, such as a corner between two walls and a floor, and a signal is generated to identify the origin. The drill bit tip is then placed at another corner between one of the walls and the floor and a second signal is generated to identify the first axis. The first axis is defined by connecting to the identified points.
The worker identifies special points, such as where to drill a hole, in the spatially-aware room with respect to the artificial frame of reference. The artificial frame of reference and the special points are communicated to another worker with an AR headset. The AR headset of the second worker displays an augmented image that shows the special points indicated against the wall. Thus, the second worker can visualize the special points and where to drill the hole(s).
The physical location of a spatially-aware tool with a first worker is tracked by the system and sent to a remote worker. The remote worker views a virtual image of the construction plan at the physical location. The spatially-aware tool may include a camera that captures a physical image that is streamed to the remote worker. The physical image can be combined with the virtual image to create an augmented image. The augmented image is displayed for the second worker, such as via an AR headset or a projector.
In one embodiment, a worker wearing an AR headset is shown a menu of virtual items that can be installed. The worker selects from among different categories of items to install, such as HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) or plumbing. The worker selects components to install in the room from the menu. The worker virtually installs the selected component by indicating the location of the selected component. The worker continues selecting components and installing them in and near the room. After the virtual construction is complete, the worker can indicate that the selected components need to be ordered and delivered to that room. In some instances, actual components can be fabricated remotely based on the virtual installation and delivered to the room for installation.
In various embodiments, the system may incorporate a projector on a tripod, an AR flashlight, a lighthouse, a sensor block, or a staff, all of which are spatially-aware and thus system-enabled. These devices may work in coordination with each other to identify points where work should be performed. These devices can rely on each other to determine their location. The location determination of a device may be a respective location with respect to an artificial frame of reference, or it may be an absolute location with respect to a construction plan. As the devices determine their location based on other devices, the devices can leapfrog across an area to provide spatially-aware guidance for the area.
Additional features and advantages will be set forth in the detailed description which follows, and, in part, will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the description or recognized by practicing the embodiments as described in the written description and claims hereof, as well as the appended drawings. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary.
The accompanying drawings are included to provide further understanding and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate one or more embodiments and, together with the description, serve to explain principles and operation of the various embodiments.
Referring generally to the figures, various embodiments of using spatially-aware tools are shown. The systems described in this disclosure can be used in construction settings to vastly facilitate the tasks being performed.
In a system-enabled room, in which the location of tools and displays can be calculated, the system provides images based on a construction plan to help workers identify where different components or objects are being installed. The system displays these images by using a projector that displays the images on walls, floors and ceilings in the room, or the system can provide these images by augmented reality (AR) headsets. The images provided can be actual images of objects to be built and installed, or the images can be representative symbols, such as may be found in a blueprint, that allow workers to quickly understand the construction plans in the image being projected.
The system provides more accurate measurements that are easier to acquire than by using non spatially-aware tools, such as hand tools. Workers can use spatially-aware tools in place of levels and tape measures. The spatially-aware tools, such as a drill or an AR headset, provide feedback to the user about different points being identified. Based on that information, the worker can make the points plumb, level, equidistant with other points, or any other arrangement that would have otherwise required a level or tape measure.
A supervisor can identify a wall as a local artificial frame of reference, and identify points on that wall where work is to be performed. This identification of points can be performed by the supervisor without reference to a construction plan. The points can be saved to the system, and another worker can walk through the rooms and perform the work identified by the supervisor by relying on the local artificial frame(s) of reference.
The system can disable tools before they cause damage. For example, if a drill bit is about to puncture a hole in a delicate or dangerous object (e.g., electrical wire, water pipe), the system can deactivate power to the drill'"'"'s motor that rotates the bit and prevent damaging the protected object but retain power for the remaining systems and the drill, allowing the user to receive a message or indication communicating why the drill bit was stopped.
Projector 44 and AR headset 46 include one or more receivers 120 to determine their location and orientation, collectively position 52. Projector 44 and AR headset 46 use their location and orientation information to determine images 54 to display for a user.
In various embodiments, device 70 determines its location based on detecting light from lighthouses 42. In alternative embodiments, one or more of the computer processors of the system 40 may determine the location of the device 70. This position determination analysis may be supplemented by internal measuring units (IMUs), such as kinetic sensors including accelerometers. Lighthouse 42 initially emits a pulse of light and then emits a series of light bands, such as calibration signals 150, in a pattern across the room. Device 70 detects a band and measures the time period between the initial pulse of light and the detected band. Based on the length of the time period measured and known position 52 of lighthouse 22, device 70 determines first relative position 50 of device 70 with respect to first lighthouse 42. Device 70 similarly determines second relative position 50 of device 70 with respect to second lighthouse 42. Based on the combination of the relative positions 50, device 70 calculates its position 52 based on first relative position 50 and second relative position 50. In various embodiments, device 70 calculates orientation contemporaneously with calculating the position of device 70. In various embodiments, relative position 50 and triangulated position 50 include both the position and the orientation of device 70.
In another embodiment, lighthouse 42 emits light that is encoded with timing data (e.g., the wavelength of the light corresponds to a time the light is emitted), and device 70 decodes the received light to determine its position 50. In another embodiment, lighthouse 42 emits a first beam of light that rotates around lighthouse 42 in a first rotational direction, and lighthouse 42 also emits a second beam of light that rotates around lighthouse 42 in a second rotational direction that is opposite the first rotational direction. In another embodiment, lighthouse 42 emits a first beam of light that rotates around lighthouse 42 in a first rotational direction at a first speed, and lighthouse 42 also emits a second beam of light that rotates around lighthouse 42 in the same rotational direction but at a second speed different than the first speed. By timing the differences between when the different beams of light are received by device 70, device 70 can calculate its position 52. In another embodiment, device 70 can determine its position 52 based on simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), in which device 70 calculates its position while simultaneously mapping the area (e.g., via stereovision, triangulation, LiDAR and/or structured light projection) where device 70 is located. In alternative embodiments, other suitable method of determining the three-dimensional location of the device 70 are used.
Projector 44 uses receiver 120 to calculate its position 52 and stores construction plan 56 to compare against position 52 to determine image 54 to display. Projector 44 determines image 54 by identifying the location of projector 44 in construction plan 56. Projector 44 uses position 52 to identify landscape 58 upon which projector 44 will display image 54. Landscape 58 is the portions of the room'"'"'s surfaces, such as walls, ceilings, or floors, where projector 44 will display image 54. Based on the identification of landscape 58, projector 44 generates image 54 from construction plan 56 to display on landscape 58. Projector 44 creates object 60 in image 54 so that the location of object 60 corresponds to where physical object 62 will be placed or built. As a result, users can look at image 54 displayed by projector 44 and quickly understand and even see where physical object 62 that corresponds to object 60 will be built. Projector 44 may be trained to receive indications of position 52 of corner C within room R, which may be particularly useful in situations in which the room does not have a standard rectangular format.
Image 54 may include object 60 that is representative of physical object 62 (
Schematic 64 includes hidden object 66 that indicates where physical object 62 will be located behind a surface of the wall W or floor F. Schematic 64 also includes points 68 where work needs to be performed, such as where a hole needs to be drilled in the wall W or floor F.
Projector 44 may include a toggle (e.g., a button) to switch between different types of image 54 being displayed. Projector 44 displays image 54 that includes object 60 representative of physical object 62 to be installed according to construction plan 56 (
Virtual objects 60 include sinks, doors, windows, and light switches and other items that are to be installed in room R. Similar to projector 44, AR headset 46 determines its 3-D position 52, including its orientation, with respect to construction plan 56. System 10 then calculates landscape 58 over which augmented image 78 will be displayed. In one embodiment AR headset 46 performs some or all of the calculations, and in another embodiment a remote computing device performs some or all of the calculations and streams the results and/or images to AR headset 46. Based on the location and area of landscape 58, AR headset 46 identifies which objects 60 in construction plan 56 are within landscape 58, and thus which objects 60 should be shown in image 54. After identifying object 60 that will be in image 54, AR headset 46 renders a representation 76 of object 60 to add to physical image 74 to create augmented image 78. AR headset 46 also optionally renders a floor representation 80 of object 60 to add to physical image 74. Floor representation 80 may indicate how object 60 will interact with room R, such as by indicating the area over which door object 60 will open, or by where window object 60 will be placed in wall W.
In one embodiment, drill bit tip 82 is calibrated by performing several steps. First, tool 72 is calibrated to an environment, such as room R. As a result of the calibration, 3-D position 52, including orientation, of tool 72 within room R is known by system 40. However, position 52 of drill bit tip 82 (or parts and/or ends of staff 122) may not be known to a sufficient level of precision because the length and positioning of drill bit 84 within tool 72 may not be known (e.g., drill bit 84 may be only partially inserted into the key of tool 72, drill bit 84 may have a non-standard length, different sized or brands of drill bits 84 may have different lengths). To account for this variability in position 52 of drill bit tip 82 relative to tool 72, sensor 48 is placed against drill bit tip 82. System 40 calculates differential position 88 of drill bit tip 82 relative to position 52 of tool 72. Subsequently, system 40 can combine position 52 of tool 72 with differential position 88 of drill bit tip 82 to calculate position 52 of drill bit tip 82.
Once position 52 of drill bit tip 82 is calibrated, system 40 can disable tool 72 remotely to prevent damage. For example, if position 52 drill bit tip 82 is approaching a delicate or dangerous object (e.g., electrical wire, water pipe), system 40 may disable the power for tool 72 before drill bit tip 82 gets closer than a threshold distance to physical object 62.
Once drill bit tip 82 is calibrated, then a worker creates artificial frame of reference 100. First, the worker moves the drill bit tip 82 to a floor corner at the intersection between target wall TW upon which artificial frame of reference 100 is arranged, sidewall W and floor F. The worker signals to system 40 that drill bit tip 82 is at first calibration point 102. The worker can signal to system by, for example, toggling a button on tool 72. First calibration point 102 is the origin of the Cartesian-style grid. The worker then moves along target wall TW, places the drill bit tip 82 at a corner between target wall TW and floor F, and signals to system 40 that drill bit tip 82 is at second calibration point 104. System 40 combines calibration points 102 and 104 to identify an axis (e.g., the X-coordinate axis) of a Cartesian-style grid.
In one embodiment, system 40 assumes by default that target wall TW is plumb or nearly plumb. Alternatively, the worker may identify third calibration point 106 in the upper corner between target wall TW, side wall W and ceiling C and/or fourth calibration point 108 in the opposite corner between target wall TW, side wall W and ceiling C. Given three calculation points 102, 104 and 106, system 10 can calculate the orientation of target wall TW, such as whether it is plumb.
After artificial frame of reference 100 is created, the worker can use system 40 for performing or identifying work. The worker can identify points 68 in wall W where holes need to be drilled. Points 68 may be identified by positioning drill bit tip 82 at point 68 and toggling a switch on tool 72. The worker can store drill point information 90 about points 68, such as the angle, diameter and/or depth of the hole to be drilled at point 68. Drill point information 90 may be provided to system 40 by using interface 92. Optionally, system 40 may store default drill point information 90 for points 68 unless the worker identifies otherwise. After points 68 are identified, and optionally also drill point information 90, system 10 may include an autonomous device, such as a drone, to perform the work identified by the worker at points 68.
As the worker navigates along wall target TW upon which artificial frame of reference 100 is situated, system 40 calculates position 52 of drill bit tip 82 as compared to artificial frame of reference 100 created by the worker. Artificial frame of reference 100 can be a two-dimensional grid, as depicted in
The worker can use artificial frame of reference 100 instead of using a level or tape measure. The worker reads position 52 of drill bit tip 82 on interface 92 of tool 72. Once drill bit tip 82 is at the location where the worker wants to mark point 68, the worker marks a first point 68. The worker moves along target wall TW to place another point 68. While the worker is moving along target wall TW, interface 92 on tool 72 optionally displays one or both of position 52 of drill bit tip 82 and differential distance 94 between drill bit tip 82 and point 68.
Based on the information provided via interface 92 of tool 72, the worker can identify points 68 on target wall TW that are plumb with each other, level with each other, and/or equidistant with each other, and without need of a tape measure or level. Among other advantages, system 40 combines and even improves on standard tape measures and levels to provide workers quick and accurate measurements for points 68.
Once artificial frame of reference 100 is established, augmented image 78, such as displayed in AR headset 46, may show an artificial line that is the same distance from the ground. For example, a worker can establish a plane by identifying at least three calibration points 102, 104 and 106. Those three points define a plane, and the intersection between that plane and walls or objects may be shown to users in augmented reality, such as via AR headset 46. In another example, a worker can establish a height above the floor F with just one calibration point 102, and a line indicating that height may be shown to users in augmented reality, such as via AR headset 46.
Another use of artificial frame of reference 100 is to display offsets. For example, a worker identifies point 68 along a wall W, selects a distance, and the headset can display the location(s) that distance from point 68 (e.g., a user locates a point and 3′ and the headset shows point(s) 68 that are 3′ from the point). This can also be used to provide offsets, such as the worker identifying point 68 along wall W, selecting an offset distance, such as 3′, and the worker also indicates how many additional points 68 to generate based on the offset. So if the worker requests two additional points, system 10 adds a second point 68 that is offset 3′ from the first point 68, and system also adds a third point 68 another 3′ from the second point 68 along wall W, and is therefore 6′ from the first point 68. These steps may be performed to create virtual grids, virtual runs, and can also be mirrored or extended onto the ceiling and/or floor.
The worker can also identify object 60, such as window object 60 (best shown in
Alternatively, the dimensions of object 60 can be traced and the dimensions subsequently used to construct a physical representation of object 60. For example, if the worker traces the location and dimension of a marble countertop, the dimensions of traced object 60 can be saved and provided to a party that cuts the marble countertop to the measured dimensions. The dimensions measured and communicated could be of the 2D-form and the third dimension is assumed or otherwise selected, or the dimensions measured and communicated could be of the 3D-form.
In one embodiment, device 70 continuously updates its position 52. In another embodiment, device 70 intermittently update its position 52.
Another way staff 122 may communicate directions to a worker is showing a hollow circle on a display, with the display representing the target destination. As the worker carries staff 122 around, a representation of the worker moves in the display. The worker'"'"'s goal is to align himself/herself on the hollow circle.
In this series of images, four lighthouses 42 are leapfrogged through room R, with two or more lighthouses 42 relocated at each moving step. In other embodiments, room R may have any number of lighthouses 42, including only two lighthouses 42, and any subset of lighthouses 42 may be relocated in a given moving step, including moving a single lighthouse 42.
Then, first lighthouse 42 is moved to new location 156, and calibrates its new position 52 with respect to second lighthouse 42 (
In various embodiments, this disclosure describes devices 70 calculating their position 52 locally based on when calibration signal 150 is received by receivers 120. In one embodiment, device 70 measures the timing of when calibration signal 150 is received and communicates that timing to a remote computer that performs the calculation. Subsequently, the results of the calculation, such as position 52, are communicated back to device 70. In one embodiment, the timing of detected calibration signal 150 is communicated to a remote computer that then calculates position 52, and then image 54 is streamed back to device 70 and/or commands are sent to device (e.g., disabling tool 72 if it is near a gas line).
It should be understood that the figures illustrate the exemplary embodiments in detail, and it should be understood that the present application is not limited to the details or methodology set forth in the description or illustrated in the figures. It should also be understood that the terminology is for description purposes only and should not be regarded as limiting.
Further modifications and alternative embodiments of various aspects of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art in view of this description. Accordingly, this description is to be construed as illustrative only. The construction and arrangements, shown in the various exemplary embodiments, are illustrative only. Although only a few embodiments have been described in detail in this disclosure, many modifications are possible (e.g., variations in sizes, dimensions, structures, shapes and proportions of the various elements, values of parameters, mounting arrangements, use of materials, colors, orientations, etc.) without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of the subject matter described herein. Some elements shown as integrally formed may be constructed of multiple parts or elements, the position of elements may be reversed or otherwise varied, and the nature or number of discrete elements or positions may be altered or varied. The order or sequence of any process, logical algorithm, or method steps may be varied or re-sequenced according to alternative embodiments. Other substitutions, modifications, changes and omissions may also be made in the design, operating conditions and arrangement of the various exemplary embodiments without departing from the scope of the present invention.
Unless otherwise expressly stated, it is in no way intended that any method set forth herein be construed as requiring that its steps be performed in a specific order. Accordingly, where a method claim does not actually recite an order to be followed by its steps or it is not otherwise specifically stated in the claims or descriptions that the steps are to be limited to a specific order, it is in no way intended that any particular order be inferred. In addition, as used herein, the article “a” is intended to include one or more component or element, and is not intended to be construed as meaning only one. As used herein, “rigidly coupled” refers to two components being coupled in a manner such that the components move together in a fixed positional relationship when acted upon by a force.
Various embodiments of the invention relate to any combination of any of the features, and any such combination of features may be claimed in this or future applications. Any of the features, elements or components of any of the exemplary embodiments discussed above may be utilized alone or in combination with any of the features, elements or components of any of the other embodiments discussed above.