Must-See Exhibition: Manufacturing Revolution

During Fujitsu Forum 2014 the Manufacturing Revolution exhibition was alive with activity giving visitors the opportunity to participate in demonstrations using 3D glasses and tablets. Let us walk you through the demonstration.

Leading edge technology developed with 3D imagery floats before your eyes

Fujitsu Forum Tokyo is Fujitsu’s largest annual event and was held on May 15-16 2014, at Tokyo International Forum in the city’s Yurakucho district.

In the Virtual Reality Technology booth at the event, Fujitsu presented the latest approach to design; it was like something out a science fiction movie.

The demonstration of the zSpace holographic imaging display involved a 3D image of a circuit board which appeared before the eyes of visitors, who were then able to control it with a stylus. Visitors were able to pick up and rotate components with the stylus providing them the opportunity to inspect each part closely.

However the highlight of the exhibition was EON Icube Mobile. By entering a small room wearing 3D glasses, visitors were able to see a large 3D image of an aircraft engine filling the room. They were then able to view and even disassemble parts of the engine as they freely walked around the room to change their perspective.

As the image changes according to the position or inclination of your head, you might think you were actually looking at a real engine. In a design room several years into the future, it may become common for people wearing 3D glasses to walk around the room, while operating an interface with hand gestures.

Virtual reality in manufacturing has two broad advantages. One is that you can intuitively check a design visually via the creation of a realistic Stereoscopic 3D Virtual Design Review (S3D-VDR) environment. The other advantage is that detailed components of a design can be reviewed, previously difficult using a mockup or prototype. This type of manufacturing and design can also significantly reduce time and labor required to build a prototype.

A vision of the near future: human-robot cooperation

Manufacturing without building a prototype goes a step further than design review. Namely, a complete production line can be built and verified in a virtual space during the preparatory stage before the product design and manufacturing phases. The virtual manufacturing process allows everything to be visualized: from the formulation of work procedures to the simulation of individual production lines and use of robots in the plant. Actual production lines are being created based on the process detailed here.

The concept of humans and advanced robots working together on production lines in the near future is attracting a great deal of attention. Dual-arm robots are expected to play a major role as they work in a similar way to humans: moving their head from side to side while watching their hands. These robots working side by side with people could be a vision for the future.

While there may be concerned that robots and other machinery may eventually take over jobs currently done by humans, Fujitsu’s vision for a Manufacturing Revolution is one in which human creativity is enhanced through of the power of technology.