Motion Capture with Unreal 4.18

Motion Capture with Unreal 4.18

 A view of the Kinect applying a skeletal rig to a captured actor in real-time.

A view of the Kinect applying a skeletal rig to a captured actor in real-time.

Pulse Design Group’s virtual reality development team is constantly researching new and innovative approaches to create quality, dynamic content. One recent focus has been animation. The current method of producing animation is an inefficient, step-by-step workflow known as “keyframing.” Keyframing utilizes an animator posed model, then adds a keyframe (or point of reference) to the current pose of the model. This method can be tedious for complex and realistic animations. Keyframing has been the industry standard for years, dating back to the film Snow White, which was produced with a form of keyframing. Technology is advancing towards real-time, actor performance capture of motion, or “mocap." Mocap is a huge asset in the animation industry because it streamlines efficiencies, creates realistic, quality work, and can be done in real-time with programs like Unreal or Unity3d.

Several tools can be utilized to get started with mocap, one of which is the HTC Vive. A program called Ikinema can track the Vive's headset and controllers to capture an actor’s performance. There are some limitations as the only tracked points are the actor’s hands and the headset. This Vive tracking method produces smoother captured movements. Motion can also be captured using a Microsoft Kinect. Kinect is a combination of various sensors: a wide-angle time-of-flight camera, infrared sensor and emitter, 1080p video camera, and microphone. This device is capable of tracking the user's heart rate, facial expressions, the weight put on limbs, and position and orientation of 25 individual joints. Kinect, unlike the Ikinema setup with the default configuration of the Vive, is able to track the user's feet in real-time. This can be accomplished with the Vive, but the process requires additional trackers.

Through research and innovative design, we are now able to see how the full body integrates into virtual reality using a Microsoft Kinect. With this early development, we have the ability to integrate this type of motion capture into our existing workflow. After setting up the environment, we were able to get a version of mocap running! The video below is the result of a working mocap version.

Post processing will include smoothing the movements and reducing jitter in real-time to enhance the animation realism. Realistic character movement in virtual reality applications is a crucial step to delivering a wider array of immersive experiences, and this exciting development will lead to further research and design.

For any information and questions, please contact Steve Biegun or Andrew London.  

Congrats to Mary Moore!

Pulse Design Group is proud to announce that Mary Moore has been selected as an Ingram's Kansas City Business Magazine 40UnderForty honoree. Congratulations to all honorees for this prestigious recognition!

Make sure to grab the latest issue of Ingram's Magazine to learn more about all of the recipients. 

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Cardinal Health: Improving Sales with Virtual Reality

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Cardinal Health: Improving Sales with Virtual Reality

Cardinal Health worked hand-in-hand with Pulse Design Group to launch a new Virtual Reality customer experience for Cardinal Health’s Inventory Management Sales Solution. This exciting new tool is specifically designed to increase sales, shorten the sales cycle, and further position Cardinal Health as an innovative leader in the healthcare industry.

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Shawnee Mission Health Hybrid Operating Room Opens to Patients

The Shawnee Mission Health Hybrid Operating Room opened to patients on February 7th.  

The 3,550 square foot surgical space, the largest hybrid operating room in Kansas City, was converted from an outdated clinical area and was designed to enhance patient safety and outcomes. The multidisciplinary space allows healthcare professionals from different specialties to treat patients in the same location.

With the help of virtual reality, Pulse Design Group developed a flexible design for the Shawnee Mission Health Hybrid Operating Room that could be modified in the field to manage the equipment required for an operating room, along with the technology for a radiology room.

Click here for more insight on the Shawnee Mission Health Hybrid Operating Room from MetroWire Media.

Implications for health systems regarding USP 797/800 compliance standards

Millions of prescriptions are compounded by pharmacists, nurses and doctors each year in the United States to meet the unique needs of patients who otherwise may not have access to the required medicine in the right concentration or dosage. Understanding of the inherent risks of compounding and incorporating established USP standards into everyday practices is essential for patient and staff safety.

New regulations set forth by the United States Pharmacopeia’s USP 797 and USP 800 were recently established and adopted to include workroom air pressure requirements, specialized work flows, isolation measures and sterility conditions related to compounding. What do these new standards involve and what do they mean for healthcare organizations?

USP 797 helps to ensure patients receive quality preparations that are free from contaminants and are consistent in intended identity, strength and potency. It describes a number of requirements including responsibilities of compounding personnel, training, environmental monitoring, storage and testing of finished preparation.

USP 800 provides standards for safe handling of hazardous drugs to minimize the risk of exposure to healthcare personnel, patients and the environment. USP 800 deals with product transport, product storage, compounding, preparation, and administration of products.

The regulations exact enforcement fluctuates by state, however current USP mandates require that compliant facilities and practices must be implemented by December 31, 2019. These new statutes affect public and private sector pharmacies and will require, in many cases, substantial capital investments in infrastructure and personnel to meet the new regulations.

 The University of Kansas Health System Pharmacy 

The University of Kansas Health System Pharmacy 

USP 797 and 800 standards have pushed architectural firms to come up with creative design solutions to help healthcare systems meet compliance standards while being mindful of the organizations bottom line. One effective design solution for clean room pharmacy compliance and upgrades is the utilization of specialized pass-throughs, which is commonly used in pharmacies for drug preparation. Clean rooms are pressurized and sterile to ensure that drugs are safe. Pass-throughs are two-sided cabinets built into a wall to connect the pharmacy and the clean room for the transfer of supplies and drugs without jeopardizing sterility. When done properly, only one door of the pass-through can be open at a time, which keeps the pressurized system intact, preventing any contaminants from entering the clean room.

In the past, most pass-throughs were constructed of stainless steel and involved mechanical interlocks, but recently there have been newly developed systems that effectively utilize solid surface. The advantages of solid surface includes its properties of being nonporous, bacteria-resistant, stain resistant and durable, which makes it well-suited for sterile environments. Other benefits include its ability to be fully seamless for cleaning and is typically less expensive to fabricate than stainless steel. Moreover, the material’s flexibility easily integrates electrical fixtures better than other products.

The Joint Commission will enforce penalties to healthcare systems that do not meet compliance standards by the established date. Reference the Joint Commission article by clicking here for more information regarding USP 797 and 800 compliance and to understand the benefits of obtaining Medication Compounding Certification.

The extent of pharmacy design modifications relies heavily on the compliance of the current space. Not only will the pharmacy design and operations need to be modified to adhere to current regulations, many times the footprint is required to significantly grow. The timing required to implement these measures can be extensive and procedures and operations will likely be affected. Health systems should be preparing compliance plans early to ensure a smooth transition.

 The University of Kansas Health System Pharmacy 

The University of Kansas Health System Pharmacy 

Lawrence Memorial Hospital Campus Expansion

Representing the largest single campus expansion in its history, the Lawrence Memorial West Ambulatory Facility is a 200,000 square foot medical office building designed to guide the organization for the next 20 years.

We are excited to be working with McCownGordon Construction and @professionalengineeringconsultants on the Lawrence Memorial Hospital expansion.

Click here for more information on the project.  

Kansas City Orthopaedic Institute Expansion Opens to the Public

Pulse Design Group has been working with JE Dunn Construction, ME Group, and DIRTT Environmental Solutions on the 22,000 square foot expansion, addition, and renovation of Kansas City Orthopaedic Institute. This addition to the existing 56,000 square foot facility opened to the public on February 26th. 

Click here to read more about the Kansas City Orthopaedic Institute renovation and expansion in the Kansas City Business Journal

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Indian Creek Campus Tour

Check out the latest progress photos of The University of Kansas Health System Indian Creek Campus.

Pulse Design Group team members took an afternoon to tour the space and check out what the Indian Creek project team have been working so hard on.  

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Year in Review

 Pulse Design Group leadership led an internal Year in Review where we reflected on the many achievements, strategic initiatives, and goals our team accomplished in 2017.

Our 2018 mission and vision was clearly outlined and we are excited about the direction and future of our firm.

A big thank you to our clients, industry partners and incredibly talented team for another successful year!

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City hosted it's 12th annual Most Wanted Auction at The Midland Theater. This year’s class of KC’s Most Wanted Honorees auctioned off a wide range of packages with a goal of raising money to help BBBSKC create more life-changing friendships in the Kansas City community. 

We are so proud of our very own Most Wanted Honoree, Mary Moore, who helped shatter Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City's goal and raised $586,950 for the organization.

Check out the video below to learn more about Mary and how she contributed to this incredible organization. Way to go, Mary! 

Welcome Matt!

We are excited to have Matt Meier join the Pulse Design Group team as a project manager! 

Follow this link to learn more about what Matt will be doing on the Pulse Design Group team. 

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