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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:

Installation

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:

  • C:\Program Files\nVIZ\Ergonomics\nVIZ Ergonomics.py
  • C:\Program Files\nVIZ\Ergonomics\nVIZ Ergonomics.ui

License File and Config File

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

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

  • C:\Program Files\nVIZ\Ergonomics\

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:

License File and Config File

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 at the top level nodes as depicted below:

Ergonomics Review Preparation - Scene Graph Nodes

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 and the order are mandatory.

  • Rigged_Camera– is required for the active camera.
    • ActiveVehiclePosition – is required for the alignment of the viewpoints to the seat reference points across multiple vehicle types with different vehicle positions.
      • Ergo_Camera – needs to be the active camera for the ergonomics review.
  • CarMakerFR1– is required for the driving simulation data in reference frame FR1 from CarMaker when using the nVIZ Motion Plugin for driving simulations. Needs to be referenced in the vehicle rig.
    • nVIZErgoSeatReferencePoint – needs to be referenced to the VRPN tracking cart node (see below) and is required for transformations of the seat reference points and viewpoints. Needs to be referenced in the vehicle rig.
    • nVIZErgoSeatBuck – needs to be referenced to the seating buck target in the VRPN tracking (see below) and is required for recording the position of the seating buck. Needs to be referenced in the vehicle rig.
    • nVIZErgoViewPoint – needs to be referenced to the glasses target in the VRPN tracking (see below) and is required for recording the position of the glasses. Needs to be referenced in the vehicle rig.
    • vehicles_Switch– is required for storing multiple vehicles to be reviewed.
      • <vehicle name>_VehiclePosition – is required for the alignment of the vehicle position across multiple vehicle types.
      • <vehicle name>– this needs to be the top-level node of your vehicle. Needs to be referenced in the vehicle rig.
      • seat_driver – needs to be referenced in the vehicle rig.
      • seat_front passenger – Needs to be referenced in the vehicle rig.
      • steering_column– needs to be referenced in the vehicle rig.
        • steering_wheel – the steering wheel (i.e. all parts moving with the x-adjustment) need to be in the first child of the steering column. node.
      • rear_mirror_interior – needs to be referenced in the vehicle rig.
      • rear_mirror_LH – needs to be referenced in the vehicle rig.
      • rear_mirror_RH – needs to be referenced in the vehicle rig.

Ergonomics Review Preparation - Tracking System ART

Ergonomics Review Preparation - 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 Preparation - Tracking System ART
Ergonomics Review Preparation - Tracking System ART
Ergonomics Review Preparation - Tracking System ART

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 Review - Ergonomics Project
  • File > Open: Opens an existing Ergonomics project. The Windows Explorer will be launched when clicking the button.
  • File > Save: Saves the current state of the Ergonomics Plugin settings to the project file.
  • File > Save As: Saves all the Ergonomics Plugin settings to a binary project file. The Windows Explorer will be launched when clicking the button.
  • File > Import Ergo Data: Imports ergonomics data from an Excel file (see below “Ergonomics Data Import”)
  • File > Export Driver: Exports all the current adjustment settings (seat, steering, etc.) to an XML file.
  • File > Import Driver: Imports and applies all driver specific adjustment settings (seat, steering, etc.) from an XML file. Multiple driver files can also be selected to be loaded at once.
  • File > Clear Drivers: Removes all the drivers from the “Driver” combo box. Only the default “New Driver” will be remaining.

Ergonomics Review - 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.

Ergonomics Review - Ergonomics Data Import
  • File > Import Ergo Data: This function will launch the Windows Explorer, allow you to select the Excel file and then start an external process to extract the relevant ergonomics data from the Excel file according to the ‘xlsximport.config’ file. By default, the config file created by the installer will be used:
  • C:\Program Files\nVIZ\Ergonomics\xlsximport.config

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:

  • C:\…\…\Ergonomics_.log
Ergonomics Review - Ergonomics Data Import

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

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

Ergonomics Review - Ergonomics Data Import
  • Check Active Vehicle: This function performs a check on the data of the vehicle selected in the “Vehicle” combo box to make sure the required scene graph structure is correct ( see “Scene Graph Nodes” above). See the VRED terminal window for the results of the check as depicted below. The color of the button will also change according to the result:
    • Green: Indicates that the data of the active vehicle is complete and consistent, i.e., all paths to mandatory and optional nodes in the vehicle rig have been found.
    • Yellow: Indicates that the data is consistent, i.e., all paths to mandatory nodes in the vehicle rig have been found but some optional nodes could not be found.
    • Red: Indicates that the data is inconsistent or incomplete.
Ergonomics Review - Ergonomics Data Import

Ergonomics Review - Tracking System

Make sure that you have selected the correct tracking system.

Ergonomics Review - Tracking System
  • Tracking System: Select the tracking system you are using from the combo box.
  • Reset HMD Pose: This function is applicable to the HTC tracking system (OpenVR) only. It will calibrate the current position and orientation of the HMD to be seated in the driver seat looking straight ahead (see “Tracking System” above).
  • Seat Reference Point Tracking: This function is applicable only for reviews in a CAVE with the ART Tracking and in combination with the nVIZ Motion Plugin for Virtual Test Driving. Use it to deactivate the sensor which sets the seat reference point to get a smooth vehicle motion. Otherwise, the motion will be juddering at the refresh rate of the sensor.
    • Sensor ID: The sensor ID assigned in the VRED VRPN tracking dialog.
    • Body Name: The body name assigned in the VRED VRPN tracking dialog.

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

Ergonomics Review - Tracking System
  • Vehicle Reference: If the radio button “Vehicle Reference” is selected, the seat reference point and view point coordinates will be displayed in the vehicle reference coordinate system.
  • DTrack Reference: If the radio button “DTrack Reference” is selected, the seating buck target and glasses target coordinates will be displayed in the DTrack reference coordinate system (depicted below).
Ergonomics Review - Tracking System

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.

Seating Position and View Point Simulation
  • Seat Reference Point: Select a seat reference point (driver, front passenger, etc.) from the combo box to simulate the seating position.
  • View Point: Select a view point (95th percentile male, 5th percentile female, etc.) from the combo box to simulate the view point. The seat reference point Z value will be offset by the delta Z between view point and glasses target at the moment the combo box gets switched. Select “Head Tracking” to reset the seat reference point Z value to the original value.

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”).

Seat, Steering, etc. Adjustments
  • Driver: Selection of individual settings of the driver for all the adjustment items.
    • Save: Updated settings of the current driver will be exported back to the XML file.
    • Save As: Current settings of the adjustment items will be exported to the XML file. The Windows Explorer will be launched when clicking the button to select the driver file name and location.
  • Eye Separation: The distance between both eye-balls of the driver. This value is used to visualize the 3D elements properly for the driver.
  • Adjustment Item: Selects the item to be adjusted, seat, steering column, interior mirror, etc.
  • Forward-Backward: Moves the item within the defined ranges along the defined vector ( see tab “Adjustment Items”).
  • Left-Right: Moves the item within the defined ranges along the defined vector ( see tab “Adjustment Items”).
  • Down-Up: Moves the item within the defined ranges along the defined vector ( see tab “Adjustment Items”).
  • Reset Adjustment: Resets the adjustment items as per selection:
    • This Item This Vehicle: Reset only the settings of the selected adjustment item of the selected vehicle for the selected driver.
    • All Items This Vehicle: Reset the settings of all the adjustment items of the selected vehicle for the selected driver.
    • All Items All Vehicles: Reset the settings of all the adjustment items of all vehicles for the selected driver.
  • Copy Adjustment Settings: Copies adjustment ranges and settings for all adjustment items from the vehicle selected in the “From” combo box to the active vehicle.

Ergonomics Data - Seat Reference Points

The imported seat reference points per vehicle are listed in the list field.

Ergonomics Data - Seat Reference Points
  • Update Seat Reference Point: Updates the selected seat reference point coordinates to the spin box values.
  • Copy Seat Reference Point: Copies the seat reference point values from the vehicle and seating buck selected in the combo boxes to the active vehicle and seating buck.

Ergonomics Data - View Points

The imported view points (95th percentile male, 5th percentile female, etc.) per vehicle are listed in the list field.

Ergonomics Data - View Points
  • Add View Point: Adds a view point to the list.
  • Update View Point: Updates the selected view point to the spin box values.
  • Delete View Point: Deletes the selected view point

Ergonomics Data - Vehicle Position

The imported vehicle positions per vehicle are listed in the list field.

Ergonomics Data - Vehicle Position
  • Use Generic X-Offset for all Vehicles: This option will apply a single value for the x-offset between the design reference frame and the CarMaker FR1 reference frame to all vehicles.
  • Use Vehicle Specific CarMaker FR1: This option will allow you to specify x-, y-, z-offset values per vehicle.
  • Update (All) Vehicle Position(s): Depends on the option selected above. Updates the selected vehicle / all vehicles to the position entered in the spin boxes. The active vehicle is / all vehicles are transformed to that position.
  • Design CSYS: The active vehicle will be positioned in the design reference frame (typically located in the center of the front axle with the X-axis pointing backward).
  • CarMaker FR1: The active vehicle will be positioned in the CarMaker FR1 reference frame (located at the vehicle’s rearmost point on the ground with the X-axis pointing forward). This is required if the plugin is used together with the nVIZ Motion Plugin for driving simulations.
  • Generic X-Offset: All vehicles will be positioned in a generic CarMaker FR1 reference frame, specified by the x-offset value.

Ergonomics Data - 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:

  • C:\Users\Public\Documents\nVIZ\Ergonomics\UserData\VehicleRigs

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, the default vehicle rig file will be imported from the directory:

  • C:\Program Files\nVIZ\Ergonomics\UserData\VehicleRigs

Alternatively, a customer-specific generic rig-file can also be used in which the key terms will be replaced with the vehicle names/ vehicle number from the excel sheet. In this way, one vehicle rig file can be used for all vehicles. For example, “FZGNr” in the rig file can be automatically replaced by the vehicle number received from the excel sheet to get the respective rig for every vehicle.

Ergonomics Data - Vehicle Rig

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

Ergonomics Data - Vehicle Rig
  • Green Row: Node path was found.
  • Red Row: Node path was not found and the node is mandatory.
  • Yellow Row: Node path was not found but node is not mandatory.

Ergonomics Data - Adjustment Items

The adjustment item ranges and pivots are listed in the two list fields.

Ergonomics Data - Adjustment Items
  • Update Adjustment Ranges: Updates the adjustment ranges of the selected item to the values of the spin boxes.
  • Update Adjustment Pivot: Updates the adjustment items pivot point of the selected item to the values of the spin boxes.
  • Pivot Position and Orientation: The pivot point position will be taken from the three coordinate values and the orientation will be taken from the three angles.
  • 2 Points => Direction Vector: The pivot point position will be taken from the coordinates of the first point and the pivot orientation will be calculated from the direction vector P1-P2 such that the X-axis is aligned to the vector with the Z-axis upwards.

Options

Options
  • Print Information: Prints debug information to the VRED terminal window.
  • Viewpoint Y-Coordinate: Y-offset when switching from head tracking to view point simulation.
    • Take from Viewpoint Data: The Y-offset will be calculated between the last tracking position and viewpoint data.
    • Take from Last Tracking Position: The Y-offset will not be calculated between the last tracking position and viewpoint data.

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.

Ergonomics Frontend

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

Ergonomics Frontend

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:

  • Connection > Connect Frontend
Ergonomics Frontend

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.

  • localhost:8000

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.

  • <IP Address>:8000
Ergonomics Frontend

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

  • Vehicle
  • View point
  • Seat Reference Point
  • SRP Tracking (switch on/off)
  • Driver
  • Adjustment Item
  • Adjustment values (with on-screen joystick)
  • Variant Sets
Ergonomics Frontend

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

Ergonomics Frontend

The dropdown menu can be used to select the driver. The current adjustment settings for the selected driver can be exported to the file with Save button. 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.

Ergonomics Frontend

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.

Ergonomics Frontend
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