3D Localization: optical tracking in rough environments - Arrowhead Project

Within the EU Artemis research consortium for the project Arrowhead,  PS-Tech is the work package leader of 3D localization technology, because robust optical tracking in rough environments needed to be developed for the mining industry. This robust 3D localization technology is transferable to other industries that have rough conditions (for example wet, cold, dust, fibrations) but still require the localization of instruments and specific locations in their environment.

PS-Tech will contribute to Arrowhead by advancing and monitoring the state of the art in 3D optical tracking technology and automated 3D geometry reconstruction from 2D/3D camera images. 


Arrowhead project

Logo of Crystal projectOur society is facing both energy and competitiveness challenges. These are linked and require new dynamic interactions between energy producers & consumers, between machines, between systems, between people and systems, etc. Cooperative automation is the key for these dynamic interactions and is enabled by the technology developed around the Internet of Things and Service Oriented Architectures.

Arrowhead's objective is to address the technical and applicative challenges associated to cooperative automation:

  • Provide a technical framework adapted in terms of functions and performances, 
  • Propose solutions for legacy systems integration, 
  • Implement and evaluate the cooperative automation through tests in applicative domains (e.g. industrial production, energy production and energy virtual market), 
  • Point out the accessible innovations thanks to new services,
  • Lead the way to more standardization work. 

The European mining industries SMIFU project identified technologies critical to the long term vision of Zero Entry Production Area, ZEPA.


3D Localization challenge

For the purpose 3D localization is expected at 3 levels:

  • Course: +/- 20m, enabling real time localization of machines and goods in the mine
  • Intermediate: +/- 1m, enabling real time local position determination of machines and goods in a mining tunnel
  • Fine: cm precision, enabling real time machine part local position determination to be used in robotized positioning control loops
  • Each level of localization requires different technologies, working seamlessly together within a mining environment

The chosen solution in Arrowhead

Localization can be provided by means of three technologies: 

  1. Radio proximity between WSN instrumented rock bolts having known 3D coordinates and WSN node/s at machine. 
  2. Radio and light triangulation using rock bolts a x points combined with 1.
  3. 3D camera technology providing cm level resolution combined with 1 and 2 

The course localization will be based on results from the I2Mine project and the instrumented rock-bolts. Rock bolt sensors will have known 3D coordinates. 
The fine 3D localization will make use of 3D cameras that will be SOA enabled and integrated to PS-Tech localization technology. Thus fine grained localization, cm level, can be achieved. 


PS-Tech’s optical tracking technology

The 3D localization system will be based on the Personal Space Tracker Technology, a short range optical tracking system developed by PS-Tech. The system allows for tracking objects equipped with retro-reflective markers in a defined workspace.

The optical tracking technology of PS-Tech will be extended to support larger areas. It will be integrated within a networked SOA framework, and the localization technology will be combined with 3D cameras, smart rock bolts, and WSN nodes to enable the different levels of localization. 


More Information on Optical Tracking

PS-Tech develops custom optical tracking solutions for industrial and medical partners.

PS-Tech also has a line of optical trackers.