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Chair for Computer Aided Medical Procedures & Augmented Reality
Lehrstuhl für Informatikanwendungen in der Medizin & Augmented Reality

R. Morales-Garcia, P. Keitler, P. Maier, G. Klinker
An Underwater Augmented Reality System for Commercial Diving Operations
OCEANS 2009 MTS/IEEE, Biloxi, Mississippi, USA, November 2009. (bib)

This paper describes the implementation of a novel prototypical Underwater Augmented Reality (UWAR) system that provides visual aids to increase commercial divers' capability to detect, perceive, and understand elements in underwater environments. During underwater operations, a great amount of stress is imposed on divers by environmental and working conditions such as pressure, visibility, weightlessness, current, etc. Those factors cause a restriction in divers' sensory inputs, cognition and memory, which are essentials for locating within the surroundings and performing their task effectively. The focus of this research was to improve some of those conditions by adding elements in divers' views in order to increase awareness and safety in commercial diving operations. We accomplished our goal by assisting divers in locating the work site, keeping informed about orientation and position (constantly), and providing a 3D virtual model for an assembling task. The system consisted of a video see-through head mounted display (HMD) with a webcam in front of it, protected by a custom waterproof housing placed over the diving mask. As a very first step, optical square-markers were used for positioning and orientation tracking purposes (POSE). The tracking was implemented with a ubiquitous-tracking software (Ubitrack). Finally, we discuss the possible implications of a diver-machine synergy.
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