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Mitsubishi Electric Develops 3D-model AR Technology for Inspections

AR smart glasses help to reduce workload and confirm data accuracy

TOKYO, November 7, 2016 - Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6503) announced today that it has developed a maintenance-support technology using augmented reality (AR) based on a three-dimensional model that enables a technician wearing smart glasses to confirm the order of the inspection on an AR display and then enter the results by voice. The technology helps reduce workload and avoid entry errors because information can be entered by voice, even in noisy environments. The system is expected to be used for a variety of maintenance work, such as inspections of water-treatment plants and building electrical systems

Mitsubishi Electric's new AR systems realizes highly intuitive inspections
Mitsubishi Electric's new AR systems realizes highly intuitive inspections

Comparison with Conventional Technology
  New technology Conventional technology
Function AR display based on three-dimensional model Two-dimensional AR display
Voice recognition using deep learning Voice recognition using simple statistical model
(Hidden Markov Model)
Performance Object positioning with max. 1.2 cm error at 60 cm Object positioning with max. 4.0 cm error at 60 cm
95 % accuracy at max. 85dbA 90 % accuracy at max. 85dbA
1) Precise, intuitive inspections with reduced workload
The new system overcomes two key problems. First, conventional AR systems that use two-dimensional imaging require high volumes of pictures for large-scale inspections. Second, precise AR imaging requires difficult calculations of position and angle when there is a large difference between a technician's camera view and the super-imposed database images.

Mitsubishi Electric's new technology uses a three-dimensional model that is easily built by scanning objects with a RGBD camera equipped tablet PC. Continuous operation builds the three-dimensional model and shows check procedure related to the objects. In addition, precise AR imaging is possible by calculating the position and angle using a three-dimensional model instead of two-dimensional images. Moreover, the displayed contents of the check procedure are changed according to the distance between the technician and the super-imposed item.
2) Voice entry on AR displayed-form is precise and reduces double checking
Inspection results are entered quickly by voice on an AR-display form, so the technician can confirm the accuracy of entries while still wearing the smart glasses. In addition, the system prompts the user to reenter ambiguous or incomplete information. Moreover, even under unsteady noisy environments, speech-recognition technology ensures high accuracy thanks to the use of deep-learning acoustic models that adjust to different types of noise.