Electronics and Semiconductors

Watch: Body Tracking Technology Comes to the Assembly Line

06 August 2018

Advanced body tracking technology commonly used by athletes to improve their performance is now being deployed at a Ford engine assembly facility in Spain. In a collaboration with the Instituto Biomecánica de Valencia, Ford developed special suits with embedded sensors. The suits are to be worn by 70 employees in 21 work areas as part of a company initiative to improve worker posture and enhance safety. Data from the motion tracking system will be used to inform the design of less physically stressful workstations to benefit manufacturing quality.

Fifteen movement tracking light sensors in each suit are connected to a wireless detection unit. Four motion-tracking cameras, similar to the devices associated with computer game consoles, are trained on each employee to monitor work movements, with special attention given to upper body motion. A 3D skeletal character animation of the user is evaluated by ergonomists to help workers better align their posture. New workstations are designed on the basis of employee height and other measurements to improve workflows and personnel safety.

The Ford designers were inspired by a suit displayed at a trade fair that demonstrated how robots could replicate human movement. The technology has now moved to the assembly line where production of the new Ford Transit Connect and 2.0-liter EcoBoost Duratec engines began this month.

The company is considering introducing the body tracking technology in its other European manufacturing facilities.

Ford employs body tracking technology on the assembly line just as sport stars perfect technique and replicate signature moves for video games. Source: FordFord employs body tracking technology on the assembly line just as sport stars perfect technique and replicate signature moves for video games. Source: Ford

To contact the author of this article, email shimmelstein@globalspec.com


Powered by CR4, the Engineering Community

Discussion – 0 comments

By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and Terms of Use.
Engineering Newsletter Signup
Get the Engineering360
Stay up to date on:
Features the top stories, latest news, charts, insights and more on the end-to-end electronics value chain.
Advertisement
Weekly Newsletter
Get news, research, and analysis
on the Electronics industry in your
inbox every week - for FREE
Sign up for our FREE eNewsletter
Advertisement
Find Free Electronics Datasheets
Advertisement