|Title of Invention||
A DEVICE AND A METHOD FOR PRODUCING INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPERTIES OF AN ENVIRONMENT
|Abstract||The present invention relates to a device (4) for producing information concerning one or more properties of an environment (1), comprising a sensor (5) movable in relation to the environment, for obtaining information from the environment by recording or measuring one or more properties of the environment in one or more positions and/or directions, and a transducer (6) mechanically connected to the sensor (5) so that the relative positions and orientations of the sensor and the transducer are fixable. The transducer (6) mechanically connected to the sensor (5) so that the relative positions and orientations of the sensor and the transducer are fixable. The transducer (6) is arranged to determine its orientation and position with respect to at least four degrees of freedom relative to the environment by receiving incident signals from signal sources (7) in the environment and thereby produce corresponding information concerning the orientation and the position of the sensor, for at least one said recording or measuring accomplished by the sensor (5). (fig 1)|
A DEVICE AND A METHOD FOR PRODUCmG INFORMATION ABOUT
THE PROPERTIES OF AN ENVIROI^MENT
The present im^ention relates to a device for prodndng information concsming one or more properties of an sn^dronmsnt, coroprising a sensor movable in relation to fhs environment, for obtaining information from tbs emdronmsnt by recoiling or measuring of one or more properties of the environmsnt in. one OT more positions and/or directions. FnrtJiennore, the invention relates to a me&od for jsrodncing information concerning one or more characteristics of an mvironment, which comprises reoonEng or measuring of one or more characteristics ^f the OTvironmest in one or more positions and/or directions by means of a sensor.
Such a device and such a method may be used for a number of purposes, but hereroafter the particular, but in no way limitiag for the invention, fields of ^rplication constitutiiLg a means for creating models and controlling an object will be described.
InitLally, a nurdber of terms used in the present ropHcadon will be explained and defined more closely below. In this connection, it is emphasized that the terms "environmenf *, '^property*', "sensor" and "model" in the tesct are to be given very broad minings.
An environment may be constituted by one or more ph^'sical objects or parts thereof as well as by an arbitrary volume with or mthout pli}'sical limiting surfeces. The volume or &e spac-e may include one or more solid objects and/or contain different mediums hi a gas and/'or a liquid state^ In "ftie en\Tronmmt5 both stadonary and moveable objects/phenomena may occur. The current en%Tronment may be located both outdoors and indoors. In addition, the environment may be a generalizied room, for example a reciprocal space.
The term property covers in principle all features of an environment which may be recorded and/or measured. This means that all chemical and physical states and
quaatities are included and furthermore that all features of the environment related to appearance and extension that may be documented are included. A few examples among aH possible properties are: that an object is present in a solid state, tiiat a certain oxj'gen content is present in a position, that a gas has a certain ten5)erature5 that an object or a part thereof has a special e>:tension, shape, texture or colour etc, that any vectorial property is present in a position, such as magnetic field, acousdc field, flow etc.
FnrLhsnnore, it is pointed out that the term "sensof is to be regarded as a genaic tsm for different instrumente, which may possible be used for recording and/or measuring of the properties of an environment in accordance with the above-mentioned definition, in this comiection, sensors are included which are directional as.*well as non-directional, and point-sensors as well as sensors designed as arrays. The sensor may be of a type that records/measures a property in a position eithsa: while the sensor is placed substantially in the present position or while tiie sensor is placed at a distance therefrom-Furfihermore, the sensor may by able to emit and/or receive electromagnetic radiation or acoustic waves. A few exainples of sensors are: IR-camera, telescope, film camera, video camera, still camera, GM-coimtCT, UV-detector, miaxrwave aerial, thermometer, anemometer, microphone, etc. It should be empbasized fiiat fiie sensor in one and the same device may include more than one instrument and that tiie instruments may have different characteristics. Hereby it is stressed tiiat the temi "one sensor^ used in the patent claims in no way restricts the possibility to actually nse two or more rnstmmsnts, which may quite possibly be arranged for recording or measuring different properties of an enviromnenL
A particular t}'pe of sensor is constituted by optical instruments for obtaining pictarss. As will be clear from the following, a camera is used as a sensor in many in5)ortant applications of the inventiorL The term camera comprises fflrn cameras, video cameras, still cameras, stereo cameras, IR-cameras etc. This means that photographing and filnnng are classed as recording of properties of an environment, and more particularly these methods are firstly nsed for recording the properties related to the appearance and/or the extension of an environment
It should also bs empliasized that the tsrm '"modsl" is intended to comprise everything nrom very simple models of eavironments, sach as few co-ordinated data, graphs, dravidngs, maps etc, to more advanced two-, three- or higher dnnensional models which may be moved rotated, changed or processed in any ofha: way, for example in a computer gr^hic enviromnent for picture processing and/or evaluation, and also the most advanced models as regards interactive application, the so called virtual reality (VR) models, in which a user in a ^irtual way may take part of the properties of an environment A special type of models are different types of computer games, particularly such that are interactive. Furthermore, the models may include photographic still pictures and moving pictures in the form of film sequences- In a feree-dimensional model, vectorial quantities, such as a gas flow, maybe illustrated by means of arrows in such a way that the direc^on and length of an arrow denote the direction and the value, respectively, of the present quantity. Furthannore, other quantities, which very often are non unisotropic quantities, such as temperatures, r^ation intaisities etc, may be illusteated in the fcam of differenfly coloured transparent surfaces representing surfeces in a volume along which surfaces the current quantity has a constant value. In addition, holographic illustrations and models of abstract and mathematical character are also included, such as those, which depict an environment by means offer example reciprocal spaces*
Furthermore, the terms "'position" and "orientation" have the following meanings. A three dimensional object may hacve 15) to six degrees of freedom in relation to liie room, three translations and three rotations. The "position" of the object is defined by the three quantities which denote translations in relation to the origo of a current coordinate systOTi. These are denoted in this s^jpHcation by :^ y and z. The "orientation" of liie object is defined by the three quantities, winch denote the angels of rotation of the object in the coordinate sj'stem. These are denoted in this application by a, P ai^ y. m practice, an article or anoth^ object often has a number of degrees of fireedom which is less than six. A cursor on a computer display, for instance, usually has two degrees of fi-eedoHL Its orientati
variable its orientations i.e. its angle of rotation about an axis perpendicular to the table top.
Fiirfhermors, it should be pointed out that although applications are initially described below in which the relative movements betwesi the device, or at least parts tiiereo^ and the environmeait, is performed by moving the de\dce itself it is in some cases possible to use a stationary de^dce and instead accomplish the relative movement by moi'ing the sQ^dronment, for example in the cases in which the envircmmsnt is constituted by an object which is not stationary installed.
Nowadays extensive work for accomplishing models of different types in many different application fields is in progress, pi;€!ferably three-dimensional models intended to be used in a conq>uter graphic environmeoL The models are intended to represent an environment and show at least some of the characteristics which the environment posses, i.e. the models may for example aim at imitatiag the environment to such a large extent as possible so that infoimation about the properties of the environment may be obtained through the model
As mentioned above, one type of model which attempts to reproduce the properties of an environment, and in particular the appearance of the environmeait, is the models which are denoted virtual reality (VR) models. These have the characteristics that a user may '"move himself* virtually in the model for example by using so called 3D-glasses and the required communication vdSi a computer. Thus, a user may for example virtually ^dsit the present environment and, by means of the model, participate in the properties of the real emironmenL in an advanced VR- model, besides the possibilities to study the properties of the environment &om diSereni positions and directions there is the possibility to perjform active actions, such as to change the properties of the model and thereby receive infennation about which consequences such a corr^onding modification in the real environment would result icL
BACKGHOUISID OF THE nsTvENTION
For obtaining the required infoimation about the properties of an emoronmsnt whsa creating models, at present anrangemeats often comprising two or more cameras, for example video cameras or similar^ for picture recording of the sa^Tronment, are used.
One gyflmpls of tbe state of the art is the using of so-called stsrso cameras. Preferably, two mechanically fixedly connected cameras are used, whidi have carefully measured or, by exposures of common objects, calculated mutual positions and orientations. "With. such an arrangement, basic image data may be obtained consisting of large quantiti^ of two-dimensional pictures, most often in pairs, of the environment However, this basic image data requires considerable processings including the use of advanced statistical algorithms, which require very heavy calculation powa- to be able to be transformed to a three-dimensional model of the environment The fact that several cameras, special mechanics and a lot of calculation work is usually requii^ makes the method costly and time consuming, which in practice means that the standards of quality of the model have to be lowered.
Another mefliod for achieving a three-dimensional model is so-called 3D scanning. In this case the object, which constitutes tiie basis for the model, is located on a rotating table. Furthermore, the table is suitably veatically adjustable in relation to a scannea: located at a distance S:om the object By performing repeated measursmants of tiie distance between the scanner and the object by means of the scanner while simultaneously rotating the table, and possibly moving &e table verticaUy, distance information as a function of rotated angle of the table, and &e current elevation of tiie object, is obtained. This distance information may then be used for creating a model of the object This me^od bowe^'-sr, bas great limitations since it is suitable only for producing models of proportionally small objects having elsmentary shapes. Another weakness is that the obj ect and &e scanner are not able to be moved fireely in relation to each other dsring the measuring procedure. K would be desirable to perform measurements fiom arbitrary positions and in arbitrary directions for obtaining detailed information about the cbaracteristics of the object in the most efficient way.
A furOia: tschnique for acliis\diig a dsscription of an ai^droinn^it for VR-applicationSs for instance, is the panoramic techniqus. It is based on &e whole hoiizon or a great part thereof being photogr^hed from a number of different positions and these pictures being joined together in a computer model In using the model the view^ can move himself virtually between different positions, the nurhber of-which is depoident of the numbK" of pictare recording positions which the modd was based on. The technique is commercially available and is described for example in US patent No. 5 S41440 by Apple Computer Ihc and in US patent No. 5 6S4 943 by VPL Research Inc.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The object of the present invention is to provide a device of a type defined in the introduction, which at least in some respect is improved in relation to such devices discussed above, »■
This object is attained according to the invention by the device including a transducer mechanically connected to the seosor so that the relative positions and orientations of tile sensor and the transducer are finable, and tinat tiie transduce is arranged to detsmnne its orientation and position with respect to at least four degrees of jS^edom relative to the environment by receivhig incident signals from signal sources in the ^ivironment, and thereby produce corresponding information concemfng the orientation and the position of the sensor, with respect to at least four degrees of fi-eedom of the sensor, relative to the en^d^amneDt^ for at least one said recording or measuring accomplished by the sensor and in that tiie device is d^gned to emit the recording or measuring information and the orientation and position information, the recording or measuring information and the orientation and position information defining at least one property of the environment In lids way it is enabled that the device may be used for obtaining information about the prc^erties of the environment and information which is related to how the sensor is orientated and located in relation to tiie environment -s^isn the pxopgily-isformation is recorded ■
In the processing of the three-dimrasional problems/phenomma, for example in producing three-dimensional models, it is most fevourable if all the six degrees of
fresdom of fhe sensor are kno-s^ii, but siif&cieatly good results roay often be obtained •v^dth the knowledge about five or four degrees of freedom through approxiiaation and/or that favourable symmetry is present By way of example, determination of only five degrees of freedom is required in the case that the s^isor has a rotational symmetry about its recording direction, which is the case for one-point bolometars and shielded GM-counters, for instance. As a consequence of the orientation and the position of the transducer and thereby of the sensor, being determined with respect to four degrees of freedom, information is also always obtained about at least one parameter from the both sets of parameters consisting offeree translations and three rotations, respectively. This is often a requirement to obtain sufficient informatiorL Usually, however, it is not suf&cient that only one position parameter and one orientation parameter are known. In applications in which less than four degrees^ of freedom needjto be determined, it usually depends on either the occurrence of extensive symmetry or that certain degrees of freedom are given by mechanical conditions. If such conditions are not present, the ^owledge of less then four degrees of freedom is normally not sufficient for the current apphcationS;, since in such a case only very trivial cases may be treated.
In addition^ as a consequence of the characteristics of the transdocer the sensor maybe designed to be freely movable and mechanically unguided in relation to the environment since fhe position and the orientation of the sensor may be determined by a
transducer, which in turn results in very hi^ performance since the device in this way may be used in arbitrary positions and directions. The characteristic that fhe transducer determines its position and orientation by receiving signals from signal sources in fhe environment results in that the device may be designed to be used for absolute measurements, i-e. not only relative alterations in" position/orientation of fhe transduces: but also its actual position/orientation in relation to the signal source and thereby to the environment, may be determined, and thereby fhe methods of docking, aligning, synchronising and/or setting to zero which are required in ofhw occurring tjpes of transducers, such as accelerometers and gyros, are eliminated-
By way of example the device may obtain information about one and &e same point in the environment through a plirality of different recordings or measurements accomplished from differait positions, but with fhe sensor directed toward the current
point in the different recordingsAneasurements. If the sensor is canstitiited by a camera for generating pictures, for example textures of the en\ironment maybe recordsd^measured, which textures have different properties in one and the same poiiit depending on from which direction the point is observed, and data may be produced for , subsequent modelling in a VR-modeL Examples of such textures are velvet and holograms! Furthermore, the device enables production of data representing pictures in such away that a division of the properties of the pictures in properties related to fee ^peaxance, such as toiinies ete, and in properties related to the extensions, such as shape, length etc, is obtained and thereby fliese diaracteristics may be treated separately, for example in a subsequent modelling of the environment
Thus, by means of the invention a device is^pbtained of the tjpe defined in the introduction having the capability to produce information v^ch defines/represents the properfies of an environment, fer which environment and/or for at least some property Qf the environment already known devices are not able to produce representative information or only produce the information to a small extent In addition, by means of the invaition, information that defines/represents the properties of an environment may be produced with higjier accuracy than what is possible by using of ateady known devices. Furthermore, the device according to the invention is ospdblt of producing in£3rmation that defin^/^resents the properties of an environment and producing said information by means of considerably fcwex recordings or measurements coinpared to the use of already known devices. The device according to the rnronlion is also able io produce information which defines/!rq?resents the characteristics of an enviromnent and to produce said information by means of less and/or sin:5>lsr recording and/or measuring instruments compared to the use of already kno'v\ai devices. In addition, by means of the device according to the invention, information may be produced vMch defineS/^represents the j^operties of an ravironment and said information may also be produced during a considerably shorter period of time tiian the period which is required in the use of already kno'wm devices. The device according to the invmtion neither requires extensive and/cff repeated docldng, alignings synchronising and/or setting to zero, at least mth regard to the transdncer.
According to a prefsrrsd embodiment of the de\ice according to tlie invention, the transducer is arranged to repeatedly dsterrnine its orientation and position relative to the environment v^iien mo-^dng the transduce: and the aivironmsnt with respect to each otiier. Hereby it is achieved that recording or measuring of properties of the en\dror!ment may be performed mth the sensor located in different positions and/or orientations relative to the environment while the transdncer may produce corresponding rofonnation about the oriratation and the position of the sensor relative to the ernironment This means that throush movement of &£ sensor in relation to an emironmsnt the properties of the environment may be m^ped. For example tiie properties of a room may be mapped and data eaiabling production of a two- or three-dimensional .map or model over the properties of the room may be produced.
According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the transducer is arranged to be freely movable and mechanically unguided by the environmeat in an arbitrary coordinate system when moving the transducer^ and the environment with respect to each other. By the feet that no mechanic connection with the en\Tronmentis present which forces the transducer and thereby the sensor to follow any axis or any plane in a certain coordinate system, besides possible cables for signal and/or power transmission for instance, a very large freedom of movement and sic^fidty in the use of the device is obtained. In creating a model, in the general case a number of recordings may be required to obtain a suftideot amount of informatioiL Assume for ex-ample that it is desired to create a model of an office room. TTie device according to the invention enables in titis case the accomplishment of recording property-rnformation for normally 'Indden" positions, simultaneously that the orientation and position information about the sensor may be obtained, so that a model, which wo±s for the properties winch are hidden from certain ^dewing directions, may be produced. The hidden positions may be located under a desk, behind chairs, in a wa5tep£5>sr basket etc.
According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, the transducer is designed mlh a signal receiving direction area exceeding 0,2 steradians (sr), which constitutes a solid angle, and which is formed by the collected amount of signal receiving directions in which the transducer is arranged to receive incident signals from said signal sources. Other preferred ecnbodiments include a transducer with a signal receiving direction area
exceseding 1 steradian, 2 steradians and 4 steradians, respectively. Said signal receiving direction area may have any shape and spreading over the imagined solid angle sphere. According to a preferred onbodimait of the invention^ the signal receiving direction area of the transducer is topologically connected, which however includes that it could have CTclosed direction areas withoirt signal receimg capability. The signal receiving direction area is indepaident of external fectors and relates only to the recei\'ing directions of the transducer. It is not affected by limitations in the form of external blockage of direction areas or any partial absence of signal sources. Thus, the transducer of the de\ice according to the invention has a proportionately broad signal receiving direction area, which is advantageous for the reason that the larger the angle of the signal recd\Tng direction area, the fewer signal sources are required for achieving a certain accuracy in the determining of the orientation and thft^osition of the transducer. Thus, a hi^ precision of calculation and a need of a low number of reference points are obtained through a broad signal receiving direction area. Particularly, the accuracy is ipproved with regard to the determination of the position along the axis of the transducer, ie. in the main direction of the transducer. Another advantage with a broad signal receiving direction area is that the risk is smaller that a large portion of the signals receiving directions of the transducer "are hidden" by different obstacles.
According to a further preferred embodiment of the invention, the device includes means for establishing connections for communication of information between the sensor and an information processing unit and between the transduce and the information processing unit, the information processing unit being arranged to combine the recording of measuring infonnation and the orientation and position information fo^ producing data that represents the property/prop^lies of the environment The information processing unit, which may have data storing edacity as well as calculadan capacity, means that information Srom the sensor and infonnation nrom the transducer maybe stored, combined, synchronised, classified and used iu calculating, for producing the desired data which defines/represents the properties of the environment in accordance with the present requirements.
According to anoth^ embodiment of &e invention, the device is designed to produce information intended for a computer graphic model Such a device may be
adyantageoTisly used for coUscting data about the snvironmsnt bymsans of which data a virtaal reality (VR) model of the em'ironm^ may be created in a cotr^uto: graphic emironmeat, for instanoe. For example thsre is a possibility to create a VR-model of a room ia which room model a user by using for example SD-glasses aad the required commimication -wilh a oompiitsr may '"move himself' and from diff^-eat positioiis aad angles stady or use properties which corr^ond wiih the properties of the real room.
Aoooraing to another embodiment of the inventionj "Qae device is designed to prodnce information for controlling an object In this connection, it is possible to coirirol an object on the basis of fee properties, determined by means of Ihe device, of the &miomnsst This object may for example be any kind of cursor illustrated in a computer environment, the response of &e cursor being related to the properties of the emdronment to the sensor, or a robot, or the like.
According to a further embodiment of the inventiQii, the device includes the controlled object and, in some cases, the sensor constitutes the object itself The combination of these features of the device results in a feedback coupling possibility which means that the required controlling of fiie sensor, i.e. the effect of the recording or measuring frequency of the sensor and the moving thereof in relation to the environment etc, may be based on previous recordings or measurements of the properties of the environmsnt
According to another prefen^ ^hbodiment of the invention, the sensor is an optical instrument designed for picture recording. By means of such a device, data with very high accuracy may be obtained about the properties related to the scppearance and the est^ision of an' environment The data may be used in many diSerent ^jplications in which knowledge is d^ired about from which position and in which direction, relative to the en^Txonmsni, a certain picture recording has been perform^ In particnlars such a device is useable ia filming and in si^yplementing animation of recorded film.
According to a further preferred embodiment of the invention, the sensor is an instrument d^gned for recording one or more physical and/or chemical states present in the environment Such a cbnstitu'ted device would for example provide information about w'hether there are solid objects present in the en\nronment or not, for example
accumuiatsd coatings and similar, tiie position and the distribution of which are previously unknown.
According to another preferred embodimerLt of the invaition the sensor is an instrument designed for measuring of one or more phj'sical and/or chemical quantities occurring in the STRTTonmeaL In this case it is possible through repeated measurements with the de\dce to produce data enabling production of a two- or three dimensional m^ or model which illustrate the distribution of a special substance or a spedal chscoical corDpound in an environment, for example how the contsit of carbon dioxide is distributed in an CTvironment to a traffic section. This may also be combined with obtaining information of a physical quantity, for exan5)le the current temperatures in diSerent positions in the environment, and t^eby models which illustrate relations between many diffeent properties of the environment maybe produced.
The invention also relates to a method of the type defined in the introduction, which is characterised by what is stated in the characterising part of the annexed independent method claim. Such a method results in a substantially more efficient procedure for jrododng information which, defines/represents the properties of an cavixonmenL
Further advantages and advantageous features of the device according to the invention and the method according to the invention are disclosed in the following description and remaining dependent claims.
The invention also relates to different uses of the device according to the invention. The functions and the advantages of the uses appear from the following description and the
The invention also relates to a computer program and a computer readable medium according to corresponding appended claims. It is obvious that the method according to the invention defined in the set of method claims enclosed is very suitable to be accomplished throu^ program iostnictions fi-om a processor which may be effected by a computer program provided with the program steps in question-
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
A detailed desciiptioii of embodimsats of tie invention will be provided below by way of example only and with reference to the attaclied drawings.
In the (fca'Vidngs:
Fig. 1 is a psrspective "view of an enviromneot m the sh^e of a room and the device according to the invention, and information processing eqidpmCTt connected to the device.
Fig. 2 is a scbemadc perspective view of a detector according to the invention and incident signals on Ihe detector originated fix>m signal sources in the environment,
Eig. 3 and 4 are perspective views illnstrating an environment in which a variant of the method according to the invention is ^plied.
Fig. 5 is a schematic perspective view illustrating an exanaple of a model which could be produced by ^jplying the method according to Fig, 3 and 4,
Fig, 6 is a psr^ective view of an environment, a variant ofthe device according to the invention b^g used for controlling an object.
Fig. 7 is a perspective view of an environment in which a robot provided wrth a vaiianl of the device ax^cording to the invention is controlled on the basis of produced property-information about the environmsnL
Fig. 8 is a perspective view illustrating measurements achieved by using a device according to the invention, and
Fig. 9 is an embodhnent of tiie device according to the invention inctuding two assemblies each provided with a sensor and a transducer.
DETAILED DBSCRIPITON OP PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
IQ Fig. 1 aa emarotmierit 1 is illustrated which is constituted by a room^ some of the limitation surfaces of the room and two objects 2,3 present in the room. The room is for the sake of clarity schematically liliistrated, but ra practice it may be an arbitrary room haviQg many different properties. The ea^oioimisnt 1 could be an ^artment for which ii is desired to establish a model for example with the purpose that an estate agent m computer corrrmunication would show the ^artmatit &r customers by giving &e custamers an opportanity to experience the apartment in a VR-modeL Examples of other places which coidd be of interest to make models of are places where crimes have been perpetrated, traffic sections etc.
Tlie device 4 according to the invention for producing information concerning the properties of the environment 1 comprise a sensor 5 moveable in relation to the CTvironment, for obtaining information from the environment 1 by recording or measuring of one or more properties of the environment 1 in one or more positions and/or directions. Usually the properties of the environment are dq)endsnt on which position of the environment that is studied. However, in some cases one and tiie same position may have different properties depending on in whidi viewing direction the position is studied. This concerns holograms and some sur&^e structure, such as a velvet surfece^ for instance. The sensor 5 is in this case a camera for picture recording Furthermore, the device 4 includes a transducer 6 mechanically connected to the camera 5 so that the relative positions and orientations of the canr^ra 5 and the transducer 6 ara fixable. For this reason the transducer 6 and tJie sensor 5 may be firmly assroiblsd to each other or be interconnected so that tiiey may be separated and/or adjusted in relation to each other if desired. For obtaining one or more mutual fixed acyustments between the transducer 6 and the sensor 5 conventional mechanical components may be applied, such as guide pins^ locking mechanisms etc. The main thing is "fliat tiie relative positions and orientations of the transducer 6 and fiie sensor 5 may be fixed wifli respect to all the six degr^s of fireedom- However, it is not necessary that all mutual orientations and positions are known in advance^ since at least some of these may be calculated by means of the information emerged in using of the device 4. Tlie calculation work.
howevsr, is simpMed if the fixed mutual positions and orientations of the sensor 5 and the transducer 6 are known in advance. In the case with a number of selectable adjustment possibilities a simpler indicator of any kind may also be used to indicate the currait adjustment between the transducer 6 and the sensor 5.
The transducer 6 is arranged to reodve incident signals fix»m signal sources 7 in the environment 1, which signals propagating rectiiinearly between the signal sources 7 and the transducer 6, for obtaining the orisntation and position information. For deternuning four degrees of fireedom, relative to the room, of the transducer 6, at least two dififersct signal sources 7 is needed, and in the most cases at least three signal sources 7 is needed. Utilizing only two signal sources requires simple cases, for example by that favourable symmetry is present, or that certgin position and caientation information may be obtained in another way. In the case it is desired to determine all the six degrees of freedom at least three, often four signal sources 7 is needed, in the most cases it is an advantage to use a larger numb^ of signal sources 7. The signal sources 7 may be included in the device 4, ie. for tiie purpose particularly placed in the environment 1 from which information may be obtained, but they may also be constituted by objects naturally occurring in the envrronmsoL
One type of transducer which may be used as a component in the device according to the invsition has been developed and tntroduced into the market by Meeq AB, Flottiljgatan 61, S-721 31 VSsteris, Sweden.
With the e3cpression that the position and the orientation of the sensor 5 are dstennined, in feis grplication is intended, if othsr is not indicated, that at least four parameters of said three position parameters x, y, z and said three orientatioii parameters a, p, y are kno vsn in a coordinate system, the relation to the emdronment of winch is Imown.
The device 4 according to the invention iocludi^ as mentioned a transducer 6 with ^ capability to deteonine at least four degrees of freedom and i2p to aE the six degrees of freedom of the sensor 5, but sudi device may with advantage be used also in case ^^ea knowledge about a less number of degrees of freedom of the sensor is required. The function of the transducer 6 and the signal sources 7 vtoil be described further below.
Thus, by means of liie transducer 6 tJic position and ths orieutation of the sensor 5 relative to the en'^dronraent 1 may be detsmdned This means fhat for one or more recordings or measurements, the orientation and the position of the sensor 5 at respective recording or measurin.g occasion may be determined. In the example of embodiment illustrated in Fig. 1 the defies 4 may thus produce orientation and position infoTmadon for the camera 5 by means of tiie transducer 6, which information is related to one or more picture recordings.
Furthermore, the device 4 is provided with means 8 for emitting the recording or measurement information^ herein the picture information, and the orientation and position informationfl in Ihe form of signals, $p an information processing unit 9 and/or to another external infomiation processing and/or displaying unit These signal emitting means 8, for example contact members or transmitters for wireless transmission, together with electrical connections 10,11, or receivers for wireless signal reception, provides for transmission of the recording or measuring infomiation and the orientation and position information, which said recording or measuring information and said orientation and position information defines/represents the properti« of the environment 1, to the information processmg unit 9. In many cas^ the dervice 4 is designed so that signal transmission also is possible in the opposite direction, Le. from the information processing unit 9 to the sensor 5 and/or transducer 6, the information processing imit 9 having signal emitting means and the sensor 5 and/or the transducer 6 having the corresponding signal receiving means. In Fig. 1 cables 51 for power si5)ply to the sensor 5 and the transducer 6 are also schematically illustrated.
By means of the information processing unit 9 including a suitable con^uter software, which unit may have data storing c^adty and calculation c^ability, picture signals from Ihe camera 5 and orientation and position signals from the transducer 6 may be stored, coordinated, classified, used as the base for calculation etc, for producing data of the type desired that represents the properties of the environment 1. For obtaining a consummate result it is required that the transducer 6 is able to produce the orientation and position information whh regard to the camera 5 viith a higher accuracy than the smallest resolution in the picture information.
The treated information in the foim of processed data may then be transferred firom the information processing unit 9 to a suitable preseatation means 12, for example a conventional visvvdng screen, a more advanced computer graphic environment or a holographic display miit In this connection it should be maitioned that the device 4 may be designed to produce data, or information in another form, for producing as well as si^plsmsnting a model 13 of the enrironmsnt and in the latter case d^gned to cooperate with an alretady eristing model Previously known information about an environment, such as the construction of a room in a broad ouflrne, some positions of objects in the room etc, wiAcb. informatianmay be obtaioed fjom for example drawings, may be used and run togefher so that ttie collecting ofpropsrty-in&rmation of the environment by means of the device accorplying of any property, sudi as a wallpaper pattern in general or similar, but the present propealies are detenmned, transferred and placed in the corresponding positions of the modeL This results in that the mTgnttTTiOT! of for example a pattern, such as vmUpsp&r joints or similar, will be desaibed correctly. In Fig. 1 it is schematically illustrated how the information-processing unit 9 cooperates with a con:5>uter unit 14, which for example could wnoik with a CAD-program.
In connection with producing of a model the device may be constituted to produce, besides the recording or measuring information and the orientation and position
information, additional information for supplementing the obtained infonnation concerning the properties of the environment with said additional ioformation regarding where and when the current obtaining of information was performed, during ^hich external conditions, such as li^ and terr5)5rahire, and/or adjustments of the device the obtaining of information was performed etc. It may be of great importance, to be able to document in a reliable way that tiie information obtained refers to a specific location at a specific momesit and during certain conditions to be able to avoid that the aufhenticit>'
of a model created by means of the property-informatioii will we questioned. By way of example this may be very importaiit in the documentation of places where crimes have been ooTninitted, traffic accidents and similar, wh^re the model will be used as basic data for investigation and/or such as ex'idence in a triaL
In the using of the device 4 according to the invention it is suitably proceeded so that first the transducer 6 obtains signals from at least three, preferably &nr and usually five signal sources, which define the coordinate system of the gnvironment, by that the camera 5 and the txansdncer 6, "s^iiich are mechanically connected, are,moved throughout the room 1, imtil the device has received sufficient information about the positions of the signal sources 7, i.e. about the coordinate system of the environment 1, wMchmaybepaformedbyhandby apersQuorbymeans of a vehicle, a freely movable robot or similar. In the example of enibodiment of the device 4, more closely the assanbly including the transducer 6 and the sensor 5, is intended to be carried by l^nd and thus it has for that reason arequisite handle 15. If in addition it is required that during the subsequent recordings/measurements the absolute scale of length in determination of the onentations and the positions shall be known, the measuring of signal sources 7 is performed while sbnnltaneously using a measure standard, fr>r example by placing an obgect with weE known dimensions as a reference gauge in the emironment during the measuring prooednre.
in the method according to the rnvCTtion, the transducer 6 is suitably arranged to repeatedly detcmaine its orientation and position relative to the environment 1 when the transducer 6 and the environment 1 are moved relative to each otJ^r, the method iocluding to repeatedly determine the orientation and the position of the camera 5, with respect to at least four degrees of freedom related to the rocan, fr)r the camera 5, when the sensor/camera 5 and the emironmenl 1 are moved relative to each othea:, and to produce data/feft)rmariop, which represents property/properties of the environment 1, on the basis of the picture in&nnation and Ihe orientation and position information. "^TLth the purpose of simplifying the coordination of the recording or measming information and the orientation and position information the device is suitably constituted so that the sensor 5 controls when the transducer 6 is to perform the respective orientation and position determination. In the use of a camera 5 such as a sensor it may be arranged that
the picture synchronising of iiie camera 5 triggers tJie orieqtatioii and position measuring of tiie transducer 6,
In a preferred embodiment fhe transducer 6 and thereby the sensor 5 is.arranged to be feeiy movable and mechanically unguided by the environment 1 ia an arbitrary coordinate sjrstem when the transducsr 6 and the environment 1 are moved relative to each other. Thus, in this case the sensor 5 may be moved freely and mechanically unguided relative to the environment 1 in an arbitrary coordinate system. From this i follows great advantages by that the camera 5 may be located in arbitrary positions and orientations relative to the enviromnent 1 and th^eby the picture recording may be concentrated to particular interesting or picture demanding parts of Ihe emoronmsnt 1. The device 4 according to the invCT.tion designed so it is mechanically unbound to the environment 1 and mechanically unguided by the eavironmeol; means that flie obtaining of the propaty-infomialion may be performed in a way that is fimdamentally different from prior art of the type scanning. With the device according to the invention recording and measuring may be performed in aAitrary positions and directions. For exannple, thereby information may be obtained concerning one and the same point in the KKTronment through repeated direction d^endent measurements and/or recordings performed firan different positions but with the sensor directed toward the currsnt point during the different recordings/measursnents. fi is also possible to repeatedly perform recordings/measoremeats for one and the same environment wifli respect to the same positions and/or directions of the sensor at different moments, but wifli different conditions of the environmenL hi this case infermadon may be obtained concerning for example how the properties, related to "die appearance, of an environment vary with dr^rent conditions of &e light
The transducer may be a two-dimensional transducsr of the kind which is described in the Swedish patent number 444 530. Thus, fhe transducer 6 may be an optical instruments which works mth "optical signals", which in this Explication refers to s-gnals which are constituted by, or utilize, optical radiation wiftdn as well as outside tiie band of visible wave lengths. A number of signal sources 7 in the form of li^ emitting diodes for instance, maybe arranged at a distance fix)m the transducer 6 and from each other, and so that hi normal use of the transducer 6 always at least three^
prsferably four of the signal sources 7 simultaneously are present witbin the field of view of the transducer. The positions of the signal sources 7 relative, to each other are kno"VvTi, for exainple by measuring the positions of the sources in a coordinate system common to the sources, which measuring may be p^ormed by means of the transducer 6. Concerning measuring in general reference is made to the Swedish pat^t number 506 517.
The transducer 6 is in connectioiL with a calculation unit, which suitably is included in the information processing unit 9 via a communicsddn channel However, it is also possible to place the calculation unit, or the whole information processing unit, in connection directly to the assraibly consisting of the transducer 6 and the sensor 5. The communication channel maybe constitutedl)y a fladble cable 11 or - for allowing as large fi-eedom of movement as possible to the operator — by "s^areless link, for example an IR-link or a radio link, for example '^Bluetooth" technique from Ericsson Components AB in Kista, Sweden Through this channel, infonnadon concerning how the different signals from the signal sources 7 incident on the transducer 6 is delivered to the calculation unit frt>m &e transducer 6.
The calculation unit continuously calculates position and orientation of tl^ transducer 6. In one embodiment of the device according to the invention the transducer 6 is designed
to recdve transmitted signals from the signal sources 7 and record the relative inddent directions of the signals received in relation to the transducer. This must not be perfomied by using optical signals, but may also be performed by using for example microwaves and antenna arrays, so called phased arrays. The transducer may for example be a radar unit designed for transmitting "radar waves and receiving radar echoes from signal source in the environment Based an the incidsnt directions of the radar echoes Ihe calculation unit may then calculate the position and the orientation of the transducCT and thereby the position and the orientation of the sensor.
In some cases frie transducer has a surfece 16 designed to recer\^e transmitted signals fix>m the signal sources and record the relative incident directions of the signals received in relation to the surfece and/or the relative incidrat positions of the received signals on the surfece. In this case for example a \ideo camera of CQD-t5'pe and a wide angle lens
msy be used as a transducsr and if the sensor is a camera in one embodiment of the invention the transducer 6b and sensor 5b may have a imit in common in tbe form of a detector 17. A detector 17 in coramon means a detector -wbich. receives incident signals from both the signal sources 7 and other incident light for picture production from the environment 1. The signals of the signal sources 7 and the recordings performed for the picture prddnction are then separated and are processed separately in the transdncsr 6b and the sensor Sb, respectively.
in fig. litis schematically ilhisfrated how signals from dree signal somx;^ 7 incidsnt on the detector 17 and how the incidCTt angles of the received signals are related to each other. The incident direction for respectrv^e signal is defined by
The construction of the transducer and the construction of the coxr^fponding calculating circuits and the nmcticm "Qiereof are as mentioned before more closely described in the above-msntioned Swedish patent number 444 530.
Advantageously, the signal receiving direction area of the transducer 6 is at least 0.2 stsradians, otherwise it is difficult to Tna^-nfaT-n the performance concerning the detenninations along die axis of the transducer, so Ihat this is in parity with tiie t^^o other axes of the transducer. However, preferably diis signal receiving direction area is
at bast 1 stsradian, and the larger such area, the fewer number of signal sources are required in the environment to obtain a certain accuracy in determining of the orientation and the position of the transducer relative to the environment The more objects which move in the environment, and tiie more complicated geometry of the emdronmsnt due to for example protruding boxes, oblique comers and other things that obstruct, the lar^ said signal receiving direction area should be^ and in a woitshop with a lot of movable parts it may be advantageously to have a signal recedving direction area exceeding 4 stearadians, and still possibly more than 100 signal sources may be needed in the environment for attaining a reliable detennination of the orientation and position information for the transducer. In that case, it is also prefared that the signal receiving direction area is topologically connected, even if this is not any defedte necessity.
It is preferred that the signal sources are well spread out within the signal receiving Section area of the transducer, since this improves the probability that an arising disttffbance, such as obscuring of some part of the environment througji persons, fork lifters, robots or similar, does not prevent achieving ccnrect information, even if the ninnbex of signal sources in the environment are kq>t on a proportionately low level However, it is really the design of the device according to tiie invention, especially wi^ ' a broad signal receiving direction area, that makes sudi a well spreading not as important as in previous known devices of this type.
About the signal recoving direction area the following may be added: A signal receiving direction area comprising less than 0,2 steradians is for natural reasons difficult to use in practice, since in such a case a small number of objects blocking in the environment may easily disturb the transdncer so it does not work. In addition, in the case of such small signal recei\Tng direction areas the number of required signal sources in the environment becomes impractically large and it is that which in practice restricts tiie user. In addition, wi"fli such small, particularly if they are connected to each other, signal receiving direction areas it will be difficult to m?mitain the same high measuring accuracy of positions in all position measuring directions.
Preferably, the signal rsceiving dirsction area shotild exceed 1 steradiaHj so tliat the numbsr of required sigaal soijrces becomes reasonably large and so that a fairly uniform measuring accuracy of positions then may be obtained.
If the environment is geometrically complex, "with for example many and possibly movable objects, reflectingteiiroring surfeces and/or transducer positions in the \dcinity of big objects ^i&out signal sources, where a typical such an environmCTt may be a fflTTt studio in which many persons, cameras, propertiBS, side scenes, mirrors and vehicles are present simultaneously, the signal recd\Tng directian area should exceed 2 steradiaus. A fiirtiier reason for a larger signal receiving directicm area is that the transducer shall not have a restricted working range as regards firstly orientations because of large hidden sectors mthout sigMl sources. Particnlariy, in complex environments where it is occurring large objects blocking signal sources and the number of signal sources is limited, it is desired with signal receiving direction areas, which also fxceed 4 steradians.
TTie distribution of signal sources over the working range may preferably be adapted to the requirements of measuring accuracy in difEerent parts of the environment and to the nature of the environment THs considerably fedlitates 1h.e possibility to use signal sources naturally occurring in the environment The need of the number of signal sources certainly depends on also the signal receiving direction area of the transducer, in accordance with the abo\^ mentioned, since the smalls number of signal sources registered by the transducer in the normal case must be equal to or exceed 4. An increased number of signal sources ^ves, however, both highar accuracy and inqjroved durability against firflier disturbances.
The signal sources 7 may be active signal emitting sources, such as light emitting diodes or the like, the li^t of which may possibly be pulsated or modulated, or passive signal sources such as reflecting markers made of for example refLectrng tape. The markers may be plane figures or — to show the same shape indq)endait of the viewing direction - be constituted by reflecting spheres. Furthermore, the markers.may have difierOTt shapes in relation to each other to make it easy for the calculation unit and the signal processing circuits thereof to identify and keep apart different maricgs and alternatively,
with the same purpose^ markers ^dfhtJie same sh^e but wifh different sizes and/or "colour" may be used, the colour term including also not visible parts of the electromagnetic spectra. In the use of passive reflectmg signal sources, such as illustrated in fig. 1. the device may include means 18 for transmitting of signals intended to be reflected by the reflecting markers. The transmitthig means 18, which in such case suitably are arranged in connection to the transducer 6, may transmit infrared lidit for instance^ prefa^ly pulsated or modulated with a certain fi^iiency to be able to separate the current signals from interfeing light sources, for instance.
In an alternative embodiment no specially arranged signal sources are required, but as signal sources are used suitable details already present in the environment Examples of suitable details are comers, holes and siniilai:. which have a cibaractedstic ^rpearance and well defined and known positions. Wben flie device is started tiiese details are pointed out and identified in a suitably way^. and their positions are detemuned and stored, for ^cample through downloading from a CAD-system, or alternatively they are measiured by the transducer. The details used as signal sources may be illuminated only from regular lights in the room, but certainly special E^ sources may be arranged to give the illumination the d^ired intensity or character if required. Certainly, at least some of the signal source may be constituted by specially arranged mads^rs, for example, by portions, patterns or figures of li^ tape placed on a dark background. In the Swedish patent number 458 427 it is closer described how Hie position and orientation of a transducer of this type may be calculated, as well as the construction and the function of an equipment for performing this calculation.
Heremafter it will be described a number of alternative examples of embodiments of the invsation. In these firstly it will be described what is characteristic for respective embodiment and as concerns such that are in common to previously described embodiments it is referred to those. This especially concerns the function of the transducer unless oliien^ise is mentioned. Similar or corresponding components are provided mth similar refea^nce numbers throu^out the whole description.
Li Figures 3, 4 and 5 one erobodiment of the method according to the invention is illustrated, whicb method comprises using the sensor 5 for picture recording and to
alternately perform picture recording of the environment 1 and aSect ftie properties of the en"\dronmeat through removal of one or more objects 19, 20 of the environment,- and to careate a modd 21 which imitates the properties of the environment 1, which was present before said removal/removals, by means of the picture information and the orientation and position information. In the example it is imagined that the application
is documenting an emoronm^it 1 in connection with an archaeological excavation. However, the method would be used in many other applications, such as in clearing of demolidied constructions sudi as honses, roads, bridges, etc after explosions or earthquakes, or in otiier applications where it is desired to afiect an CTvironment throu^ irreversible modifications, and simultaneously create a model of the OTvironment which represents the state immediately before this aSect (for example clearing). The model may then give in&rm^on or hints concerning also the orignial properties of the envircrament, such as the properties that the location fOT an archaeological excavation had during a particular previous period, the properties that were present at a building before the collapse thereof etc.
In Fig. 3 it is illustrated how a number of posts including the signal sources 7 have been located around the excavation area. With the device 4 according to the invention thus, it is produced information about the jOTjperties of the environment 1. first initially and fiien at a later moment after digging and possibly removing of grotmd masses, v^^ien any archaeological or o&er object 19,20 has been found. Thereafter, lie use of the device according to the invention and digging maybe performed alternately and the method according to the invention repeated to the desired extent The recording OT measuring information obtained in this case, Le. hersm the picture iuformation, and die orientation and position infonnation, Mldch together constitute data ^^ch defin^^^represents the properties of the environment 1, may then be used for creating a tiiree-dimensional model 21 of the ^irmo-nm^sA as it look like before the excsvaticm. Since the device 4 according to the invention has the capability to record shape and texture as well, or other properties of a surface, of the en*varonment, and by the feet that the shape and th.e suifece properties may be treated independent of each o&er, an object which has been found may be imaged in detailed at a later moment by means of tiie device. Th^eafter, the model which represents the finding place, the relative positions and/or orientations of the objects which have been found at the excavation, and possibly their
positions/orieaitatioiis in relaiioii to the envirorimerit, may be provided with reproductions correspondmg to the objects 19^ 20 in for example ready-prepared and/or cleaned conditiorL
As an example, as schanatically illustrated in fig. 5, the relative positions of the discovered objects 19,20, and the positions of the objects relative to the original ground surfece 22, may be illustrated by the model
In Fig. 6 an ^plication of a variant of the device 4 according to the invention is illustrated, the environment 1 bang constituted by a baseball arena or the like and the device 4 coroprises the transducer 6 and the sensor 5, in the form of a film camera 5, and the required signal sources 7 located in t^e environment L The assembly consistmg of the transducer 6 and th.e sensor 5, maybe placed on a stand with a ball joint so an operator in an easy way may turn the film camera 5 to the desired position, or may be feeely carried by the operator, for filming in the desired direction.
In this example the device is also designed to produce data for controlling an object 23, and in addition the device includes the object^ which is constituted by a part of the sensor, or more precisely is constituted by the focus function 23 of the film camera 5-To provide for the control of the focus function 23, the film camera 5, as well as the
transducer 6, communicates with the information processing unit 9. In this way the control of the focus function 23 may be performed on the basis of tiie recording or measuring infcnmadon, Le. the picture information, aiKi the orientation and position iofonnation, so tiiat focus all the time is adjusted in a desired plane. This may for example be the plane coinciding with the surface 24 of the baseball arena and if the ^jpearance of the arena is known the focus may be controlled to be aiwa>^ adjusted on the surface of the arena even if the camoa is paned ormovedto fihn in another direction and/OT some object get into the picture receiving area of the camera between the surfece of the arena and the camera. Provided that the position of the ball 25 may be contkiuously determined with any suitable method, a further development would be that the device 4 according to the invention instead would be used for maintaining the focus on the ball 25 all the time and a fieely movable cam^a 5 would be -controlled to alvv^ys be directed toward the ball. In Fig. 6 it is illustrated that focus is adjusted in a plane 26
which includss the position for the ball 25, in spite of that a player 50 is present betvv'een the ball 25 and the camera 5,
CertamiVj also in this case a three-dimensional VR-model, illustratiiLg the area and the players, could be created on a presentation means 12 to be used for example by a manager mth the pmpose of iHustratmg aaen^ards how one or more players should have acted in a certain situation and what tids in such a case wonld have implied for the game. If more than one de\rice accordhig to the invention is simizltansonsly used it is possible to reprodiace the current game from more \iev^dng directions. For example Ihe manager could see tiie game situation from an an^e of \iew of a pazticular play^ by means of the modeL Alternatively, by means of a phiraiLty of devices according to the invention, each of whidi includes a transducer and a camera, 4 model could be created through which model a viewer interactively and in real time may partic^jate in for exaniple a football game, the viewer himself having the possibility to choose from \03idi viewing position and/or direction the person in question desires to follow ttie game. With a plurality of devices according to the invention located at the arena the feet is that it is possible to obtain suffident information for creating a model which is able to represent the game from a chosen vie^^dng position and/or in a chosen viewing direction, in spite of that none of the cameras is present in the chosen viewing posrdon and/or is directed in the chosen viewing direction.
In Fig. 7 a further apphcation of the device 4 according to the inveoiicm is illusrtrated. The emTTonment 1 consists of aroom and ttds is intended to be apart of an industrial plant where a radiation leakage has occurred For m^yping the radiadcm level in different positions in the room the device 4 according to the invention is used assembled on a remotely controlled robot 27 having a pivoted robot aim 28 for adjustment of the device in arbitrary positions and directions in the room-
The device includes the transducea: 6 and the corresponding signal sources 7 constituted by ma±srs placed in the environment or in the environment occurnng objects in accordance with what is previously described.
The sensoi 5 may ia this c^e be a conventional GM-connter for measuring radiation intensities in different positions in the room- Furthermore, the .device is connected to the information processing unit 9, which in its turn is connected to a presmtation unit 12. By controlling the robot 27 to move around ia the room and measure the radiation intensity a map or a model of the distribution of radiation may be obtained. This may show for erampk lines and/or surfeces 29 with constant radiation intsisity on the presentation unit 12. By means of the recording or measuring information, obtained by means of the GM-counter, and the corre^onding orientation and positicm information it may be calculated where in the cnviionmCTt 1 fiirther measurements should be performed for obtaining sufiScient amount of measurement results for CTeating the model and/or for tracking the current leakage. In this connection the robot 27 including the device 4 according to the invention may be controlled, with req>ect to movement in the room and movement of the robot arm 28, on the basis of the data that represent the properties of the environment and which have been produced by the device 4 according t9 the inventiorL
- It should be pointed out that in this example of embodiment as well as in the other embodiments and ^iplicadons described in this patent ^jplication, the creating of the model 13.21.29 may be performed "on-line", Le. in real time and/or afterwards if so is
In Fig. 8 it is schematically illustrated the result of a few sub-measurements in a case when the device 4 according to the invention has been used for prodndi^ measuring results which are srmilar to or correspond to the result which are obtained in.usnig conventional tomography. However, it should be emphasized that althou^ some parts in this mefhod^e of the device 4 according to the invention are Hrmilar or in common to the method which are applied in conventional tomography, it is the characteristics of the invention, among other in the shape of a freely movable sensor 5, the orientation and position of which repeatedly may be detenmined, that enables that recordings/measurements may be performed in a way that is different from prior art By means of the device 4 according to the invration it is in fact possible to perform recordings/teeasuremenls in a outward manna:, Le. it is not required, such as usual hi normal tomography, that for example a mo\^ble but mechanically guided radiation
source emit X-r£u3ia±Lon, wMcii X-radiation thsn is detected by m^aas of a detector^ thie tomographed object beiiig located between the radiation source .and the detector. Witb the device 4 according to the invention the environmrat may instead be carefully mapped in respect to its properties in different points and layers while the device may be moved freely in the environment and mthout the necessity to use a detector which has been placed in the environment
The smironment may be a proportionately large volume of the atmosphere inchidiiig a trafSc section, for ^xampl^ a crossings in whicbtraSc section psrcsitagK of some chemical compound/polhztant such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, etc or the value of some physical quaotity, for example temperature, is desired to be detennined Before measurements are started signal sources arejjlaced in a plurality of positions on posts, house walls, chimneys or on other suitable naturally occurring or placed objects in the environment The type of sensor 5 may in this case be chosen depending on the current ^plication. In some cases it would be required such a sensor that is able to transmit waves of any kind and receive a response on this waves as a function of the quantity which is intended to be measured, whereas in other cases it is sufficient that the seaosor is able to receive waves originated from excitations in the environroCTt
For example, density measuring could be performed by means of an 3R-sensor. Thus, the invention relates to the use of a device according to the invention for determining one or more properties along lines 30 in an aivironment at one or man common positions 31 of said lines 30, especially for producing information concerning the properties of the environment for different layers in the environment in Fig. 8 it is illustrated how the value of a quantity varies along different linK 30. During measurement the integrated value between two positions A and B is obtained. Through repeated measuremsnts from different positions in different directions, most often a large number of measurraients, information about the value of the quantity considered in points 31 common to the measurement lines 30 may be obtained with a higher accuracy ^^^ithout the need of large mechanical constructions ^s^ch hold and move the sensor and without the need of time measuring of the signals (waves) which are recorded/measured along the current lines.
Another iroportaat use of ths device according to tiie invention is. to detamine tlie position and orientation of a camera relative to an environment when using the. camera for fihning, and particularly for producing data to be used in a subsequent supplementary animation of the recorded filTn. In this case one embodiment of the method according to the invention comprises the use of a camera constituting the sensor for picture recording and detennining the orientation and the position of the camera relative to the emironment when using the camera for filming. This results in great advantages in filming since it enables the camera to be guided to the desired positions and orientations and/or to determine afterwards how the camera was placed and orientated daring a certain picture recording sequence. This is possible to perfonn without that the camera necessarily need to be fixed or guided by some mechanical vehicle. Instead tiie camera may be moved freely to different^positions and orientations depending on the desired film situation. For example a person who move himself would be filmed while the device according to the invention is brought to follow the person ^-omthe desned filming angles and positions. In this case, it may be produced data by means of the picture information and the corresponding orientation and position mformation, which are of great importance, or which are a requiremisnt, for e?:ample in a subsequent modelling and/or animation of the cuffent film sequeaice.
in Fig. 9 an embodiment of the device according to the invention is illustrated, tiie device including two assemblies 32a, 32b each of which comprises a sensor 5 and a transducer 6. Certainly, it is possible to use fiirther such, assemblies 32 to the desired estrat Generally, such as described in connection to the previous embodiment, it is fiiUy sufficient with one said assembly for pictore recording for instance, at least in the case the environment is stationary. However, if tiiere is movable objects/phencnnena in the environment, such as illustrated in Fig. 9, where a running person 33 is an object for filming, it may be advantageously to use two or more separate assemblies of the type mentioned above. This application makes it possible to obtain a more complete information concerning the charactCTistics of a movable objecL In Fig. 9, in accordance with '^iiat is previously described, the transducers 6 are intended to receive sigEials firom signal sources 7 in the environment 1, so that the orientation and position information for respective sensor, i.e. respective camera 5, related to the currCTt picture recording, may be contnmously obtained. In lho example one assembly 32a is imagined to be
stationary in so far that it is moved through turning so that the asserably follow the running person 33 when he pass. The second assembly 32b is intended to be carried and brought by a running person 34 which follow after the running person 33 which is the object for the filming.
It is obvious that the device according to the invention and the method according to the invention are not restricted to the exemplified embodiments. Several modification possfDiliti^ have already been mentioned above. Further, such possibilities are obvious for a man skilled in the art once the idea of the invention has been introduced. Accordingly, it is emphasized that the invsition is restricted only to the scope of protection which is defined by the following claims and that equivalent embodiments are included within the fi:ame of patent protection.
WE CLAIM :
1. A device for producing information concerning one or more properties of an environment (1), comprising a sensor (5) movable in relation to the environment, for obtaining information from the environment by recording or measuring one or more properties of the environment in one or more positions and/or directions, characterized in that it includes a transducer (6) mechanically cormected to the sensor (5) so that the relative positions and orientations of the sensor and the transducer are fixable, and that the transducer is arranged to determine its orientation and position with respect to at least four degrees of freedom relative to the environment (1) by receiving incident signals from signal sources (7) in the environment and thereby produce corresponding information concerning the orientation and the position of the sensor, with respect to at least four degrees of freedom of the sensor, relative to the environment, for at least one said recording or measuring accomplished by the sensor (5), and in that the device is designed to emit the recording or measuring information and the orientation and position information, said recording or measuring information and said orientation and position information defining at least one property of the environment
2. A device as claimed in claim 1, wherein the transducer (6) is arranged to repeatedly determine its orientation and position relative to the environment when the transducer (6) and the environment (1) are moved relative to each other.
3. A device as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein the transducer (6) is arranged to be freely movable and mechanically unguided by the environment in an arbitrary co-ordinate system when the transducer (6) and the environment (1) are moved relative to each other.
4. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the transducer (6) is
designed with a signal receiving direction area, that constitutes a solid angle exceeding 0,2 steradians (sr), and which is formed by the collected amount of signal receiving directions in which the transducer is arranged to receive incident signals from said signal sources (7).
5. A device as claimed in claim 4, wherein the signal receiving direction area of the transducer constitutes a solid angle that exceeds 1 steradian.
6. A device as claimed in claim 4, wherein the signal receiving direction area of the transducer constitutes a solid angle that exceeds 2 steradians.
7. A device as claimed in claim 4, wherein the signal receiving direction area of the transducer constitutes a solid angle that exceeds 4 steradians.
8. A device as claimed in any of claims 4-7, wherein the signal receiving direction area of the transducer is topologically connected.
9. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein it includes means (10, 11) arranged for establishing connections for communication of information between the sensor (5) and an information processing unit (9) and between the transducer (6) and the information processing unit (9), and that the information processing unit (9) is arranged to process the recording or measuring information and the orientation and position information for producing data that represents at least one property of the environment.
10. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein it is designed to produce information for supplementing a model (13) of the environment.
11. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein it is designed to
produce information for production of a model (13) of the environment.
12. A device as claimed in claim 10 or 11, wherein it is designed to produce information intended for a computer graphic model (13).
13. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein it is designed to produce information for controlling an object (23, 27).
14. A device as claimed in claim 13, wherein it includes the object (23).
15. A device as claimed in claim 14, wherein the sensor (5) or any part thereof constitutes the object (23).
16. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the transducer (6) is arranged to receive the signals, rectilinearly propagating between the signal sources and the transducer, from the signal sources (7) which are constituted by at least three different signal sources in the environment (1), for obtaining the orientation and position information.
17. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein it includes the signal sources (7) arranged in the environment (1).
18. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the signal sources (7) are constituted by active signal emitting signal sources.
19. A device as claimed in any of claims 1-18, wherein the signal sources (7) are constituted by passive members reflecting signals that are incident to said members.
20. A device as claimed in claim 19, wherein it includes means (18) for
transmitting signals and that the signal sources (7) are constituted by passive members reflecting the signals transmitted from the signal transmitting means.
21. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the transducer (6) is designed to receive signals transmitted from the signal sources (7) and to record the relative incident directions of the signals received in relation to the transducer.
22. A device as claimed in claim 21, wherein the transducer (6) has a surface (16) designed to receive signals transmitted from the signal sources and to record the relative incident directions of the signals received in relation to the surface.
23. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the transducer has a surface designed to receive signals transmitted from the signal sources and to record the relative incident positions of the received signals on the surface.
24. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the sensor (5) is an optical instrument designed for picture recording.
25. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the sensor (5) is an instrument designed for recording one or more physical and/or chemical states present in the environment.
26. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the sensor (5) is an instrument designed for measuring one or more physical and/or chemical quantities present in the environment
27. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the sensor (5b) and the
transducer (6b) have a unit (17) in common.
28. A device as claimed in claim 27, wherein the unit in common is a detector
29. A device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein it includes two or
more assemblies (32), each comprising one said sensor (5) and one said transducer
30. A method for producing information concerning one or more properties of an
environment, which comprises recording or measuring of one or more properties
of the environment in one or more positions and/or directions by means of a sensor
(5), characterized in that it comprises producing corresponding information about
the orientation and the position of the sensor (5) with respect to at least four
degrees of freedom of the sensor for at least one said recording or measuring and
producing data which represents at least one property of the environment on the
basis of the recording or measuring information and the orientation and position
31. A method as claimed in claim 30, whereinvh comprises repeatedly, determining the orientation and position of the sensor relative to the environment when the sensor (5) and the environment (1) are moved relative to each other.
32. A method as claimed in claim 30 or 31, wherein it comprises moving of the sensor freely and mechanically unguided relative to the environment in an arbitrary co-ordinate system when the sensor (5) and the environment (1) are moved with relative to each other.
33. A method as claimed in any of claims 30-32, wherein said information about the orientation and the position of the sensor is produced by detecting signals from signal sources in the environment within a signal receiving direction
area, which constitutes a solid angle and which is formed by the collected amount signal receiving directions from which information is detected, which exceeds 0,2 steradians (sr).
34. A method as claimed in any of claims 30-32, wherein said information about the orientation and the position of the sensor is produced by detecting signals from signal sources in the environment within a signal receiving direction area which constitutes a solid angle exceeding 1 steradian.
35. A method as claimed in any of claims 30-32, wherein said information about the orientation and the position of the sensor is produced by detecting signals from signal sources in the environment within a signal receiving direction area which forms a solid angle exceeding 2 steradians.
36. A method as claimed in any of claims 30-32, wherein said information, about the orientation and the position of the sensor is produced by detecting signals from signal sources in the environment within a signal receiving direction area which forms a solid angle exceeding 4 steradians.
37. A method as claimed in any of claims 33-36, wherein for producing information about the orientation and the position of the sensor (5) signals are received within said signal receiving direction area originated from a larger number of points in the environment than what is needed for producing information about the orientation and the position of the sensor with respect to the number of degrees of freedom of the sensor asked for in the present case.
38. A method as claimed in any of claims 30-37, wherein it comprises using of the sensor (5) for picture recording and to altemately perform picture recording of the environment (1) and affect the properties of the environment by removal of
one or more objects from the enviromnent (1), and to create a model which imitates the properties of the environment which were present before said removal/removals by means of the picture information and the orientation and position information.
39. A method as claimed in any of claims 30-38, wherein it comprises using a camera constituting the sensor for picture recording and to determine the orientation and the position of the camera relative to the environment when using the camera for filming.
|Indian Patent Application Number||591/CHENP/2003|
|PG Journal Number||47/2008|
|Date of Filing||21-Apr-2003|
|Name of Patentee||FAGER, JAN, G.|
|Applicant Address||FAGELPILSGATAN 6, S-723 53 VASTERAS,|
|PCT International Classification Number||G01S3/782|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/SE01/02022|
|PCT International Filing date||2001-09-20|