PTC’s Vuforia Spatial Toolbox intended to accelerate robotics interface development

PTC Reality Lab yesterday announced the release of the Vuforia Spatial Toolbox, an open-source platform intended to allow developers to solve spatial computing problems in a new way.

“Innovators and academic researchers can explore the power of Industrial Internet of Things [IIoT] and spatial computing, accelerate prototyping for machines, and develop leading-edge spatial augmented reality (AR) and IoT use cases to support digital transformation initiatives,” stated Boston-based PTC Inc.

Vuforia Spatial Toolbox to improve human-machine interfaces

The new spatial computing platform can help teams improve the operation of complex manufacturing environments and make IoT-enabled machines easier to control with on-the-fly programming, according to PTC. Developers can use Vuforia Spatial Toolbox to build more intuitive user interfaces for controlling and operating robots, the company said. It also allows them to quickly build interfaces to improve human-machine interaction.

Vuforia Spatial Toolbox complements PTC’s current commercial Vuforia offering. The system combines two components to provide an industrial AR/spatial computing prototyping environment with pre-built UI/UX elements, spatial programming services, an intuitive UI app, and simplified connectivity to IoT with the Vuforia Spatial Edge Server.

It also works with Vuforia Engine’s computer vision and ThingWorx Kepware Server’s industrial connectivity.

The technology is the brainchild of Valentin Heun, Ph.D., vice president of innovation engineering at PTC. Heun is a former scientist at the MIT Media Lab’s Fluid Interfaces Group, where he led the Reality Editor human-machine interface research. Heun is a leader in the AR industry and an active author and speaker on topics related to AR.

Vuforia for digital convergence, democratization

The open-source environment is designed to drive further exploration around the convergence of the physical and digital worlds and help to push the boundaries of innovation, claimed PTC.

“Many developers, innovators, and researchers recognize that AR can help democratize the programming and control of connected machines,” stated Mike Campbell, executive vice president and general manager of augmented reality at PTC. “What they need are solutions that help alleviate development overhead for prototyping these innovative, next-gen AR tools. PTC is helping them develop tools and interfaces to spatially interact with and program the world of interconnected things around them.”

To enable users to take advantage of the new Vuforia Spatial Toolbox while working from home during the COVID-19 crisis, PTC has created a basic hardware interface add-on that allows them to connect the Vuforia Edge Server with Arduino projects, children’s Lego Boost and Lego Education WeDo 2.0 sets, and the Philips Hue smart lighting system.

Vuforia Spatial Toolbox is now available worldwide today. To learn more, download the software, and access tutorials, visit

Editor’s note: The Robot Report will be introducing Dev Singh, director of business development and global head of robotics, drones, and intelligent machines at Qualcomm Technologies Inc., at “Enabling the Next Generation of Connected Robots” at PTC’s virtual LiveWorx 2020 on June 9.

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