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issue: March 2008 APPLIANCE Magazine

Outdoor Power Equipment
Jack & Jill and John Deere

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Outdoor power equipment maker John Deere was the first company to benefit from the expanded capabilities of new precision motion tracking technology interface.

Digital humans Jack—and, in this illustration, Jill—are used by John Deere at its technology innovation center and other sites. Deere product engineering teams test the interplay between the digital humans and equipment parts to improve products and production. Photo courtesy of Siemens UGS PLM Software.

InterSense Inc., developer of motion tracking technology, created a motion tracking interface for UGS Tecnomatix Jack software from UGS PLM Software, a division of Siemens Automation and Drives. Jack is a human modeling and simulation tool that helps various industries improve the ergonomics of product designs and refine workplace tasks.

The interface gives John Deere precise, reliable, inertial-based motion tracking, providing a flexible means to track simulated human motions. Jack software enables users to position biomechanically accurate digital humans of various sizes in virtual environments, assign them tasks, and analyze their performance. Jack (and Jill) digital humans can tell engineers what they can see and reach, how comfortable they are, when and why they are getting hurt, when they are getting tired, and other important ergonomics information. This information helps organizations design safer and more-effective products faster and at lower cost.

At the John Deere technology innovation center in Moline, IL, U.S., and in other international John Deere sites, the new InterSense-enabled Jack interface lets product engineering teams test the interplay between equipment parts and the digital humans, improving the manufacturing, serviceability, and ongoing maintenance of products with InterSense’s IS-900 inertial-acoustic tracking systems.

“The InterSense tracking technology has improved our virtual prototyping efforts—allowing us, for instance, to more accurately and wirelessly track whether the hand of an individual will have clearance with a particular tool when assembling or maintaining a specific piece of equipment,” states Brad Keleher, staff engineer, immersive collaboration technology, John Deere.

“In addition to supporting John Deere, InterSense’s hybrid inertial-acoustic tracking technology will open up tremendous value to others in the UGS PLM Software user community, providing them with an alternative solution to address their tracking needs,” according to UGS PLM Software. “In particular, companies using Jack in situations where metal tools are in use will have the ability to track hand motions in proximity to the equipment without interference of the metallic environs.”

“Building on our expertise [in] tracking people and objects in real time, the interface with Jack extends the value to virtual prototyping and ergonomics analysis in product development. We see this as an ideal application of InterSense’s IS-900 tracking systems,” says Dean Wormell, InterSense director, visualization and simulation applications marketing.



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