The Human-Systeme Interaction & Virtual/ Augmented Reality – IRVA team is a part of the Productic and Robotics (DPR) Division.

The main research subjects of interests of the IRVA team are: Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), Human-Machine Interaction (HMI), Human-Robot Interaction (HRI), Collaborative Virtual Environment (CVE), 3D Interaction, Multimodal systems, collaborative work, Computer vision for HMIs and Software Architectures.

The virtual and augmented reality started to gain momentum in the Algerian research laboratories. The “Productics and Robotics” division, which includes “the Human-System Interaction & Virtual Reality / Augmented” team (IRVA team), has developed a know-how and expertise in the following topics:

Augmented Reality (AR):
Key words: augmented reality, camera calibration, 3D modeling and registration, prediction, 2D / 3D matching, object tracking.

Problem: Introduce the real-time compliance of the real and virtual worlds and propose new visual perception and interactions modalities in augmented reality in indirect and direct (mobile) vision.

Virtual Reality Interaction (VR):

Key words: virtual environment, 3D interaction, multimodal interaction, tracking, gesture recognition.
Problematic: Propose new modalities and interaction techniques in virtual reality.

Collaborative Work (CW):
Key words: Teleoperation, multi-sensory groupware, cooperation, HMI, augmented reality, virtual reality.

Problematic: Introduce the malleability of groupware by considering the sensory and natural abilities of users to collaborate. We propose to review the role of computers and virtual and augmented reality technologies for developing malleable multi-sensory groupware.

Software architecture :
Keywords: Rapid Prototyping, Component Oriented Architecture, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality,

Problem: Introduce the heterogeneity of augmented and virtual reality technologies by proposing an open software architecture, and thus allowing rapid prototyping of the RV / AR applications.

Projects:
FNR Project: (National Research Funding Prject)
Title of the project: Immersion and Interaction in Augmented and Virtual Reality: Application for the support of training and medical practice.

The principal objective is to elaborate a study and an implementation for Interactive and collaborative software models, as well as different techniques of virtual and augmented reality environments for diagnostic, training and medical practice support.

This project also aims to combine the various complementary skills in order to develop innovative tools for learning, planning and carrying out the therapeutic action as an assistance to medical practice, thanks to the VR and RA tchnologies.

The chosen application concerns the development of a system for assistance with diagnosis, training and motor rehabilitation using virtual reality and augmented reality technologies.

In addition, this project is motivated by the availability of the virtual and augmented reality platform supported by the Directorate General for Scientific Research and Technological Development (DGRSDT). This platform will include a component dedicated to the development of innovative tools for simulation, virtual reality, interaction and collaboration in health.

Socioeconomic projects:

Project 1:
Title of the project: Platform for E-maintenance of industrial equipment by Augmented Reality.

In an increasingly evolving industrial context, companies must meet the requirements in terms of reliability, quality of service and responsiveness and all this to reduce costs and promote technology transfer.

Indeed, in this highly competitive global context, industrial demand has increased the efficiency of technical support and maintenance. This involves the integration of Novel Information and Communication Technologies (NICT).

Industrial maintenance is one of the features that can take advantage of this NICT evolution. Indeed, an efficient maintenance system that contributes to company’s well-being scheme makes it possible to extend the industrial equipment life-cycle and even contributes to the increase of productivity.

Nevertheless, the complexity of certain equipment, as well as the lack of proven skills of technicians may induce to incorrect decisions, and thus to recurrent stoppages of the production, that increases considerably the maintenance costs, especially when experts are involved for a remote maintenance. Therefore, more efficient and accessible information in real time is needed for a smoothing the maintenance processes. One of the technological solutions for such assistance method, is that which provides in real time a visual information to the technician. This principle refers to a new paradigm called Augmented Reality. This field of application is currently considered as one of the future solution introduced in the diagnosis and maintenance process in the industry. In addition, the introduction of remote maintenance via the Internet (or E-Maintenance) in augmented reality, offers not only the possibility of reducing the costs and maintenance time of the equipment, but also allows monitoring and even anticipate failures via diagnostic computer tools, learning mechanisms and knowledge capitalization, while managing related business processes.

This system will provide to the agents of maintenance an additional assistance by sending relevant information called augmented, which is directly recalibrated on their workstations. This information is gathered from a computer database, and has different forms (online maintenance documentation, disassembly films, images, videos, 3D models of parts or parts of equipment), are superimposed in the user’s field of view and serve as an assistive tool in complex situations. It will provide the user an intuitive, multi-modal, hands-free and context-dependent interface.

The objectives to reach are as follows:
1. Provide an easy and prompt access to information and documentation

2. Provide tools for diagnosis and failure prognosis
• Exploitation of the historical data of intervention and failure, for building a set of knowledge (data set) from the main experience feedback.
3. Provide additional assistance for intervention and maintenance
• Querying the knowledge base to perform diagnostics.
• Display information gathered from sensors on the equipment identification sheet and / or overlay on the scene observed by the technician using suitable devices.
• Transcription of maintenance scenarios associated with diagnostics.

4. Allow remote intervention of the experts
• Establish a remote dialogue between the technician and the expert.
• Aid for intervention.
• Aid for training.

5. Manage the maintenance processes
• Management of user roles.
• Resource Management and Task Planning.

6. Capitalize knowledge and expertise
• Enrichment of the knowledge base by the new maintenance scenarios established by the experts.
• Learning of failure process in order to schedule interventions on the equipment before the occurrence of a failure.
• Implementation of an efficient maintenance strategy.

Project 2:
Title of the project: Development of a mini surveillance robot for bathymetry

By definition, bathymetry is the science of measuring the depths and the relief of the ocean to determine the topography of the sea floor [1]. By considering the dams case, the bathymetry helps to follow the evolution of the siltation level of the reservoir and to manage its capacity in a rational and precise way. Increasing the level of siltation, through sedimentation and solid transport, is reducing the storage capacity of a dam and that is one of the main problems facing today by its exploitation.

In order to compensate for such reduction, several approaches are used, including the construction of small dams upstream of the main dam, which is often proposed to slow down its siltation, the raising of dams, extraction by siphoning and the use of the different techniques of dredging. These approaches are practiced as appropriate and their use is always expensive. Regular monitoring of the dams is therefore necessary for a possible devastation of the reservoir.

Numerical Terrain Models (NTMs) are increasingly being used. Those help to quantify the degree of siltation of dam retention over a period of time (usually regular), determine losses of reservoir capacity, locate most filled areas and trace the profiles along the bottom of the reservoirs. These models are constructed from echo sounder bathymetric surveys and / or topographic surveys. These last require long campaigns proving expensive, but they remain, of course, irreplaceable for punctual readings.

In the context of fight against the silting of dams, Algeria diversifies its intervention means by deploying considerable efforts. The technological integration rate of the national industry in the current projects for the devastation of dams that does not reach 70%. The ANBT insists on “good coordination” between the different sectors (industrial sector, research center, etc.) to provide maximum efficiency in the fight against siltation and thereby reduce Algeria’s dependence on foreign consultants, which is a very costly solution for Algeria in terms of foreign currency.

In this perspective and following several interviews with the ANBT Directorate on the possibility of facilitating the acquisition of bathymetric data by the use of mini-boat robots (also called bathymetric drones or Remote Operated Vehicles, ROV), TV boats-operated unmanned for hydrographic use that can accommodate many sensors. We propose to develope a mini surveillance robot for bathymetry following the specificities defined by the ANBT.

These specificities are divided into two parts: The first part concerns the evolution environment of the mini robot, that is to say the dimensions or the maximum extent in kilometer of the search area. The second part concerns the internal characteristics of the mini robot, i.e., its dimensions, weight, propulsion power, carrying capacity, etc.

The Center for Advanced Technology Development (CDTA) as a public research organization (EPST) can help, through its know-how, to implement this proposal as well as other solutions for the specific needs of the ANBT.

Hardware \ Software
• Virtual Reality mini-platform – VR in a Case
• Oculus Rift CV1 Virtual Reality Headset
• HMD Vuzix Wrap ™ 920AR Headset

Valuation
The IRVA team has published several articles and publications in high-ranking national and international journals and conferences.

National and international scientific collaborations (universities and research centers).

National collaboration
• USTHB University: Master’s sponsorship: Visual Computer Science
• University of Blida
• University of Tizi Ouzou
• CERIST
• EMP

A Cooperation Agreement between the Center for Advanced Technologies Development (CDTA) and ANBT has been signed. A project has been registered under this agreement. This is the project to build a mini surveillance robot for bathymetry.

International collaboration
• A cooperation agreement has been established between the Center for the Development of Advanced Technologies (CDTA) and the University of Evry Val d’Essonne (UEVE). This agreement has been established since November 2012. This collaboration was renewed for a period of 5 years until 2022.
• Collaboration with the Institut Mines Telecom (IMT), Laboratory of Medical Information Processing (LaTIM) Brest, France, in CMEP-PHC-TASSILI 18MDU106 which is entitled as: “Numerical Simulation, Virtual and Augmented Reality, for Clinical Training and Clinical practice »

 

Team leader

Dr. Zenati Nadia, Research associate A