nVIZ Ergonomics Plugin Version 2021.0

Documentation for other Versions

Installation

Autodesk VRED provides two paths for maintaining plugins. Please identify the directory where you want to keep the nVIZ Ergonomics Plugin. The paths are displayed in the VRED terminal window after launching VRED:

Download and execute the nVIZ Ergonomics Plugin installer. After the installer has completed, you need to copy the two following files to your VRED plugins directory:

License File and Config Files

The plugin supports the import of ergonomics data from an Excel file. The definition of which data to read from the Excel file is defined in the config file “xlsximport.config”.

The plugin includes a frontend for iPAD Pro which allows you to easily perform the ergonomics analysis while seated in a seating buck. The default settings for the frontend are defined in the config file “frontend.config”.

Customers using the computer numerical controlled (CNC) seating buck of nVIZ also require the seating buck specific config file “cncSeatingBuck.config”.

nVIZ will provide you with the config files to meet the specific ergonomics process in your organization. Please contact nVIZ to receive your license file and config files.

The license and config files need to be copied to the directory:

After installation, the nVIZ Ergonomics Plugin can be launched from the context menu like any other VRED module – right mouse click on the Main Tool Bar or on the Quick Access Bar:

Ergonomics Review Preparation

Scene Graph Nodes

For the full functionality of the Ergonomics plugin to be available for both the HTC and the ART tracking systems, also in combination with the nVIZ Motion plugin for driving simulation, we require a special scene graph structure as depicted below:

The naming of the nodes is arbitrary but they must be correctly referenced in the vehicle rig tab (see below “Vehicle Rig”) and the nodes need to be correctly referenced in the VRPN Tracking module (see below “Tracking System ART”) . Also, the structure, i.e., the parent-child relations are mandatory.

For the adjustment of the seats, the steering and the mirrors to work correctly, each vehicle in the scene needs to be organized in a structure as depicted below. The node names and order are arbitrary but they need to be correctly referenced in the vehicle rig (see below “Vehicle Rig”).

Tracking System HTC

Ergonomics reviews with the HTC Vive require an extra HTC tracker to be positioned in the z-coordinate of the seat reference point. The “Reset HMD Pose” function (see “Ergonomics Review” below) will position the driver’s view in the scene at the x, y coordinates of the seat reference point and the z coordinate calculated from the vertical distance between the HMD and the tracker. The orientation will be aligned to the longitudinal vehicle axis.

Tracking System ART

Ergonomics reviews with the ART tracking system in a CAVE rely on the tracking of the seating buck by a VRED cart node. The imported ergonomics data needs to include the correct offsets for the seating buck targets.

The VRED scene graph nodes (see “Scene Graph Nodes” above) need to be correctly referenced to ART sensors in the VRPN Tracking module as depicted below. The “ViewPoint” node needs to be attached to the same sensor as the “Glasses” and the “SeatBuck” node needs to be attached to the same sensor as the “SeatReferencePoint”.

Ergonomics Review

Ergonomics Project

All the settings defined in an Ergonomics review can be saved to a project file and reloaded from there. The file format is *.egb

Ergonomics Data Import

The starting point for an ergonomics review is the import of the ergonomics data stored in an Excel file. Typically this data includes the seat references points of multiple vehicles as well as seating buck dimensions, view point coordinates, seat and steering wheel adjustment ranges, etc.

The results of the data import are displayed in a Windows terminal window. Additionally the results are written to a log file in the same directory as the imported Excel file:

After successful data import, the combo boxes and the list fields on the different tabs of the plugin will be filled in.

The color on the “Check Active Vehicle” button indicates the completeness and consistency of the imported data per selected vehicle.

Tracking System

Make sure that you have selected the correct tracking system.

The tracking data is recorded from the sensors and will be shown in the LCD displays if the “Display Listener” is checked.

Seating Position and View Point Simulation

The Ergonomics Plugin simulates different seating positions in the virtual scene based on the imported seat reference point coordinates as well as different view points based on the view point coordinates.

Seat, Steering, etc. Adjustments

The Ergonomics Plugin simulates the adjustment of the vehicle items relevant for ergonomics (seat, steering column, and mirrors) within the defined ranges and based on the defined pivot points (see below “Adjustment Items”).

Ergonomics Data

Seat Reference Points

The imported seat reference points per vehicle are listed in the list field. Select a line to edit the values in the spin boxes. Then click the update button.

View Points

The imported view points (95th percentile male, 5th percentile female, etc.) per vehicle are listed in the list field. Select a line to edit the values in the spin boxes. Then click the update button.

Vehicle Position

The imported vehicle positions per vehicle are listed in the list field. Select a line to edit the values in the spin boxes. Then click the update button.

Vehicle Rig

The imported vehicle rig per vehicle is listed in the list field. At import of the Excel file with the ergonomics data, the plugin will check for vehicle rig files <name>.txt in the directory:

If a text file with a name identical to the vehicle name from the Excel sheet is found, the rig file will be imported for that vehicle. Otherwise, a customer-specific, default vehicle rig file will be imported from the directory:

The advantage of using a customer-specific, default rig-file: the vehicle numbering follows a specific nomenclature so that it can be automatically incremented at import. In this way, one vehicle rig file (as depicted below) can be used for all vehicles.

After import, the plugin will search for the node paths specified in the rig file and indicated found or missing node paths in color.

Adjustment Items

The adjustment item ranges and pivots are listed in the two list fields. Select a line to edit the values in the spin boxes. Then click the update button.

Options

Ergonomics Frontend

For ease of use, ergonomics plugin can be connected to the frontend and controlled remotely. The bridge server needs to be running in the background which will realize the communication between the ergonomics plugin and the frontend dashboard.

The frontend bridge server can be started by finding “Ergo Frontend” in the start menu. It will initialize a command-line application and display the IP addresses of the machine as follows:

The ergonomics plugin communicates with the bridge server via UDP/IP connection on port 23054, so this port must be available for the frontend to work. In the ergonomics plugin, start the connection with frontend bridge server under:

Once both of these steps are done, any web-browser can be used to access the frontend. (Microsoft Edge & Google Chrome have been tested for functionality and performance). If the frontend needs to be accessed on the same machine as of the frontend bridge server, then the following link can be used to access the frontend in the browser.

If the frontend needs to be accessed on a remote machine, then the IP address of the machine running frontend bridge server is required to access the frontend. The following link can be updated with the exact IP address to access the frontend from a remote device. The IP address is also displayed by the console application.

The following settings of the ergonomics plugin can be remotely changed from the frontend:

A long press on either one of the seat buttons will toggle the joystick to Y-axis adjustments.

The dropdown menu can be used to select the driver.

A click on the add driver button will lead to the dialog box where the name of the driver can be entered. The text box can be used to specify the driver file name for the “Save As” functionality. Note: the frontend page will refresh automatically after “Save As” to update the frontend and sync it with the ergonomics plugin.

The logo on the bottom can be used to switch between multiple screens of the frontend. All the available variant sets of the VRED scene will be available on the secondary screen of the frontend. The left list will show all the variant groups. When any one of the variant groups is selected, the respective variant sets will be shown in the right list which can be selected directly by clicking on it.

CNC Seating Buck

nVIZ designs and manufactures computer numerical controlled (CNC) seating bucks for a 100% correct user experience in virtual reality. The seating bucks are equipped with multiple electric actuators to adjust steering wheel and seat to the vehicle in the virtual scene.

The dimensions of the CNC seating bucks are designed to cover the complete vehicle fleet of a specific automotive OEM.

The physical seating position will always by correctly synchronized with the selected virtual vehicle and the driver’s seat and steering adjustments.

The CNC seating buck is connected to the host PC by EtherCAT – see documentation of the CNC seating buck for details.

To start or stop the communication with the CNC seating buck, toggle the radios “Statiic Seating Buck” and “CNC Seating Buck”.

The status of each electric actuator is reported in the table depicted below.