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

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F. Echtler, F. Sturm, K. Kindermann, G. Klinker, J. Stilla, J. Trilk, H. Najafi
The Intelligent Welding Gun: Augmented Reality for Experimental Vehicle Construction
Chapter 17 in Virtual and Augmented Reality Applications in Manufacturing (VARAM), Ong S.K and Nee A.Y.C eds, Springer Verlag, 2003, pp 333-360. (bib)

This chapter presents the prototypical design and implementation of an Intelligent Welding Gun to help welders in the automotive industry shoot studs with high precision in experimental vehicles. A presentation of the stud welding scenario and the identified system requirements is followed by a thorough exploration of the design space of potential system setups, analyzing the feasibility of different options to place sensors, displays and landmarks in the work area. The setup yielding the highest precision for stud welding purposes is the Intelligent Welding Gun: a regular welding gun with a display attachment, a few buttons for user interactions, and reflective markers to track the gun position from stationary cameras. While welders operate and move the gun, the display shows three-dimensional stud locations on the car frame relative to the current gun position. Navigational metaphors, such as notch and bead and a compass, are used to help welders place the gun at the planned stud positions with the required precision. The setup has been tested by a number of welders. It shows significant time improvements over the traditional stud welding process. It is currently in the process of being modified and installed for productional use.
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