SOURCE: Mechdyne Corporation

Mechdyne Corporation

February 26, 2009 09:00 ET

Engineers Use Visualization Environment From Mechdyne for Studies to Improve Construction Worker Safety

NIOSH Research Team Replacing Decade Old System With HD-Quality Digital Projection to Enhance "Virtual" Construction Site Studies

MARSHALLTOWN, IA--(Marketwire - February 26, 2009) - Mechdyne Corporation today announced that it was selected to design and install a new CAVE immersive visualization system for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Morgantown, West Virginia. The new system replaces a decade old CAVE used by NIOSH to safely study the dynamics of construction worker movement at heights and suggest ways to reduce the risk of injury or death from falls.

Mechdyne, which designed the original CAVE at the facility, was awarded the contract for the new system, which includes active stereo digital projectors, wireless tracking and a more powerful image generation computer. Though the original system was considered state-of-the-art when installed in 1995, the new CAVE's HD resolution, 3000 lumen per wall brightness and richer computer-generated graphics will dramatically increase the realism of the virtual worksite environments developed by the NIOSH researchers.

"We've demonstrated in our current work that simulations of workplace environments safely and reliably substitute for the 'real world,'" said John Powers, Supervisory General Engineer with NIOSH. "With the enhanced realism of the new system, the virtual environments will be even more effective tools for learning how to improve worker safety."

Typical research at the NIOSH facility involves creating construction environments, such as the beams of a building skeleton, planks on scaffolding, high roof areas and trusses or cranes in motion. Experienced workers, wearing sensors to measure stress levels and motion patterns, walk and perform tasks common to these environments. If a "fall" occurs, it is not actually at height, but on the floor level surface of the CAVE.

"We've seen visualization technology make enormous leaps in performance since we installed the original CAVE for NIOSH," said Chris Clover, president and chief executive officer of Mechdyne. "And while Mechdyne has helped expand the uses of advanced visualization into many other fields, it is gratifying to see the continued benefits of simulation as a tool in research applications, particularly one directed at occupational and public safety."

The new CAVE includes three vertical walls and an illuminated floor, with each 10 x 13 ft image surface illuminated by a 1450 x 1050 pixel Digital Projection Titan DLP projector. Mechdyne is also integrating an InterSense wireless tracking system for synchronization of stereo imagery, a Hewlett-Packard PC cluster with Nvidia Quadraplex graphics for image generation, and software modules to provide immersive stereo capability for applications from Multigen-Paradigm and Google Earth.

About Mechdyne Corporation

Mechdyne Corporation is the world's largest company dedicated to consulting and development of immersive, networked and collaborative visualization solutions. Winner of a 2008 AV Award from ArchiTech Magazine and Infocomm, the company addresses complex projects where an in-depth understanding of user requirements leads to the development of products and customized solutions involving elements of visual, software and support systems. Mechdyne's product divisions provide advanced display technology, audio/visual systems design, and implementation services, as well as immersive and interactive software development and support. Headquartered in Marshalltown, Iowa, Mechdyne's customers include leading government laboratories, military research programs, energy companies and a variety of 'edutainment,' manufacturing, and other users of visualization technology. More information is available at www.mechdyne.com.

NOTE: Mention of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) does not constitute a commercial endorsement by NIOSH. A video report on the NIOSH research program (using its original CAVE system) can be found at: http://www.aip.org/dbis/stories/2008/18039.html

Contact Information

  • For more information:

    Jeff Brum
    Mechdyne Corporation
    519-664-0036, ext. 221
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    Matt Schmidt
    FS Communications
    650-345-3549
    Email Contact