Project Portfolio

Dan Maynes Aminzade

Research

Actuated Workbench
Audience Interaction
Hover
You're in Control
Edible User Interfaces
Fuzzmail
KC-135
OSCAR

Schools

Stanford
MIT
Carnegie Mellon

Industry

MERL
Microsoft
Adobe
Disney Imagineering

Fun

Unsafe Search
Music Visualization
Mobot
PantsCam
Taboo Database
Pointillism
Painting
WebAmp

Zany

Tacos
SETI Joke
Pepsi Database
Love Calculator

Hacks

AdBall
RCA Lyra
Stone Cold

Humor

SURG Proposals
Female Pop Singers
Satan Baby
Wesley Willis

OSCAR

In the summer of 1998 I worked on OSCAR, a project funded by Chevron Corporation.  OSCAR stood for "Offshore Supply Crane Augmented Reality"; the goal of the OSCAR project was to develop a computer-based "augmented reality" system to assist crane operators on offshore oil rigs.
Crane operators on oil rigs are forced to operate in a hostile environment.  Conditions of fog, strong winds, violent rain, and rough seas make accidents common in loading and unloading operations.  The total cost of such accidents to Chevron is approximately one million dollars a year.
Accidents are caused by factors such as overloading, improper rigging, low visibility, and operator error.  OSCAR was intended to reduce the frequency of accidents, simplify crane operation, and increase the window of operating conditions.
I traveled to an operational oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico to interview roughnecks, crane operators, and sailors involved in the cargo loading and unloading process.  They demonstrated the typical cargo transfer process.  The visibility is extremely limited and the boat deck is almost 90 feet below the deck of the oil rig.

We needed a system that was durable enough to withstand a harsh environment, extreme weather conditions, impact, and vibrations.  It needed to adapt well to different types of boats and platforms and attach to a variety of surfaces.

I worked with a team of electrical and mechanical engineers to design a system that used sonar sensors to display cargo position data from several angles.  Another sensor measured the wave position so that crane operators could lower the cargo as the ocean waves reached a crest (dropping the cargo to the deck at this time minimizes the impact of the cargo against the boat deck).
The prototype can be mounted in the crane cab to give crane operators additional information about the speed of the cargo and its position relative to the boat deck.  Sensors are attached to the boat deck and to the cargo itself.