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‘Spatial toolbox’ speeds up AR programming

06 May, 2020

The software giant PTC has released an open-source spatial computing platform that, it says, will allow users to accelerate machine prototyping, as well as AR (augmented reality) and IoT applications. To allow users to take advantage of the Vuforia Spatial Toolbox platform while working from home, PTC has also created a simple hardware interface that can link their Arduino projects and Lego Boost and Education WeDo kits to its Vuforia edge server.

The platform allows users to solve spatial computing problems in a new way. It can be used to improve the operation of complex manufacturing environments and to simplify the control of IoT-enabled machines using on-the-fly programming.

Robots can be controlled via more intuitive user interfaces, and HMIs can be built rapidly to improve human-machine interactions and to merge the digital world with physical screens.

“Many developers, innovators, and researchers recognize that AR can help democratise the programming and control of connected machines,” says Mike Campbell, executive vice-president and general manager of AR at PTC. “What they need are solutions that help alleviate development overheads for prototyping these innovative, next-gen AR tools. PTC is helping them develop tools and interfaces to spatially interact with, and program, the world of interconnected things around them.”

By pointing the Vuforia Spatial Toolbox at a machine, you can visualise how the machine in programmed

The toolbox – the latest addition to the Vuforia AR portfolio that PTC acquired in 2015 – consists of two components that combine to provide an industrial AR/spatial computing prototyping environment with pre-built UI/UX elements, spatial programming services, an intuitive UI app, and simple connection to the IoT via the Vuforia server. PTC says the open-source environment is designed to drive exploration around the convergence of the physical and digital worlds, and to help push the boundaries of innovation.

The software can be downloaded, and tutorials accessed, via a dedicated Vuforia Spatial Toolbox Web site.

•  In 2018, Rockwell Automation invested $1bn in PTC to form a strategic partnership.

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