Augmented reality to benefit oil and gas sector

Augmented reality to benefit oil and gas sector

An augmented reality system is being developed for use in the oil and gas industry in a partnership between engineering design company Cadherent and Robert Gordon University.

With support from the Oil & Gas Innovation Centre (OGIC) the first phase of research into the technology was completed, which will allow operators to track then identify, classify and recreate 3D models of equipment.

The system will allow industry tools to be viewed in obscure environments, easing some high risk procedures.

The project is the first of its kind, as currently no 3D modelling systems allow for objects to be recognised in uncontrolled or noisy environments, and the technology is not reliant on object markers.

Ian Phillips, chief executive of OGIC, said: "This technology is going to be very disruptive when it comes to market as it offers a new solution to data gathering in challenging environments.

"The detail which can be recreated using this technology has the potential to cut down the time needed to develop and carry out procedures offshore.

"This is the first project that has been co-funded by two of Scotland's innovation centres and is an excellent example of how different industries can collaborate to develop new technology solutions for deployment in the upstream sector."

Dr Eyad Elyan from RGU’s School of Computing Science and Digital Media, who is the academic lead for the project, said: "We have been able to apply some of the cutting edge research carried out the School of Computing to a project which involves several important key research areas including machine vision, data representation and data analytics.

"Throughout this collaboration we were able to develop, test and successfully evaluate key algorithms in these domains.

"In particular, the development of a mathematical technique to represent large volumes of 3D scanned images and the detection and tracking of objects from non-stationary cameras."

David Thomson, managing director of Cadherent, added: "After proving the concept successfully in phase one we are delighted to be progressing to the second phase again with the support of OGIC and this time also with The Data Lab.

"The contracts were agreed and signed swiftly which is of great importance in this space as the technology is moving so fast.

"We look forward to collaborating with Robert Gordon University to deliver this exciting project in the first half of 2017."