BOTW: Gaming Technology Helps Optimize Ford Assembly Line

Bloomberg Businessweek: Ford assembly line optimized by gaming technology

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The Ford Motor Company Assembly Ergonomics Lab in Dearborn, Michigan, is using technology typically found in the gaming industry to reduce on-the-job and repetitive stress injuries on its assembly lines.

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During a demonstration Harrington stood in the middle of a room with more than a dozen cameras pointed toward him, shining a dull red light. The light reflected off the markers, which were positioned all over his body, got captured by the cameras and then were processed by computer software that created an avatar called Jack or Jill. The company can scale the avatars from a short female to a very tall male to make sure that all of the jobs on the assembly line can be done by people of varying statures.

Harrington then walked toward what looked like a basic skeleton of an automobile. Projected on the wall behind it was the CAD data of the recently debuted Ford Fiesta. The CAD data represented the virtual vehicle, while the metal skeleton gave something for the users to interact with in the physical world. Once Harrington got close, the on-screen avatar looked like he was working on the car.