On July 1, 2022, Evident Corportation (Chief Executive Officer and President Yoshitake Saito), a wholly owned subsidiary of Olympus, began local sales of the SZX-AR1 AR microscope. The device incorporates augmented reality (AR) technology to display work instructions and other information in the microscope's field of view.
The manufacture of precision devices and components that use advanced technologies, such as medical equipment and electronics, requires that assembly and inspection work be performed using stereomicroscopes. However, to meet strict quality control standards, workers traditionally had to look away from the eyepiece to check instructions while working. Evident's newly released microscope can display work instructions and other information in the field of view, allowing the operator to continue working while looking through the eyepiece. This innovation is expected to improve efficiency and reduce work errors.
Imagery can also be transmitted using Microsoft Teams, a conferencing system, enabling easy sharing of information when confirmation from superiors is required or for training purposes. The design also considers ergonomics, reducing physical burden and stress during work from a functionality and design perspective.
AR can be used to display work instructions in the microscope's field of view, along with still images, text, and video, enabling usage across a wide range of scenarios. In addition, reticles (crosshairs and grids) and gauges (dimensional displays) for aiding work can be displayed in conjunction with the microscope's zoom functionality. The page of instructions being displayed can be easily changed without looking away using buttons on the zoom magnification sensor or using commercially available foot switches, numeric keypads, or keyboards. This ability improves work efficiency, reduces work errors, and reduces strain on the worker's eyes and neck.
The Microsoft Teams functionality enables efficient sharing of information when receiving confirmation from superiors or for training purposes. Greater communication efficiency while sharing imagery from the microscope is expected to improve work quality and uniformity. These functions can also be used with employees working overseas or remotely. The microscope's field of view can be recorded for self-study after training.
The ergonomic design reduces strain on the worker's eyes and neck through an eyepiece with adjustable angle, width, and height.
For those who already own a stereo microscope zoom body, the optical tube section can be replaced with the AR trinocular tube (AR tube). Models compatible with the AR tube include the SZX-ZB7, SZX2-ZB10, and SZX2-ZB16. The estimated domestic price for a model including the AR tube (excluding tax) starts at 2,310,500 yen. For owners of an SZX-ZB7, SZX2-ZB10, or SZX2-ZB16, the price of the AR tube alone starts at 960,000 yen.
This article has been translated by JST with permission from The Science News Ltd.(https://sci-news.co.jp/). Unauthorized reproduction of the article and photographs is prohibited.