The University of Kentucky Center for Visualization & Virtual Environments

Student Researcher Scans Petroglyphs in Honduras


Vis Center Researchers Develop Noncontact, Depth-detailed 3D Fingerprinting

A combination of structured light illumination and a suitable algorithm offers a solution to problems of precision associated with conventional print capture. Fingerprint recognition has been used extensively to identify people for law enforcement and security applications. The technique has the advantage of uniqueness, employs compact and inexpensive sensors, and delivers rapid matching. However, traditional fingerprint acquisition is performed in 2D using contact methods that introduce uncontrollable and nonuniform distortion when pressing or rolling a human finger onto a rigid surface. Consequently, applications that require high-precision fingerprints are limited.

To circumvent these problems, our research group, in partnership with Flashscan3D LLC, is investigating a noncontact 3D fingerprint scanner. This system relies on 3D image acquisition using structured light illumination (SLI), which recovers the necessary information by performing so-called triangulation between a projector and camera pair using a series of time-multiplexed, striped light patterns. No physical contact is made with the fingerprint. Read more about this new system for 3D fingerprinting.

Vis Center Members Present Research at the 2009 Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Meeting

The Da Vinci Surgical Robot

The Vis Center was well represented by members of its Information Design and Usability Lab at this year’s meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society which represents the largest professional and scholarly organization of human factors professionals in the U.S.

Attending the meeting, which was held October 19-23 in San Antonio TX, were Dr. Melody Carswell, director of the lab, and frequent research collaborators Dr. Cindy Lio of Innova Design, Shanghai, China, Dr. Gyusung Lee, of the University of Maryland Medical Center, and Dr. Martina Klein, a recent Lab post-doc and current faculty member of Texas Tech University’s Department of Psychology. Graduate students Rusty Grant and Michelle Sublette also attended the conference.

The group presented research on a variety of projects related to the development and evaluation of more usable surgical visualization tools. Dr. Klein presented evidence that the Da Vinci surgical robot’s 3D visualization capability reduces mental workload in medical students learning to use the system. Dr. Lio reported on her work in developing a novel augmented surgical display to help surgeons keep from becoming disoriented during laparoscopic surgery. Dr. Lee presented research-based recommendations for reducing both physical and mental strain during laparoscopic surgery based on changes in physical stance and postures.

Meanwhile, Rusty presented preliminary results involving a technique for estimating cognitive workload that takes advantage of our tendency to misperceive how quickly time passes when we are engaged in challenging tasks. Michelle also presented results related to the measurement of mental workload by focusing on the accuracy with which users of new visualization techniques can anticipate the difficulty of surgical tasks.

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