NDT sensors for augmented reality

We researched publicly available specs of the ultrasonic sensors from Olympus, Sonatest, Sonobotics, and Waygate Technologies to determine which could be used in augmented reality. The critical requirement is that the device should have wireless connectivity and ports configured to transfer the sensor readings in real-time. It turned out that Olympus 38DL PLUS, Sonobotics SONUS EVO, Waygate Technologies Krautkrämer USM 100, and Mentor UT are fit for the job.
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Use case

In essence, augmented reality headsets offer a refined alternative to the conventional method of utilizing wheel-based encoders to interpret sensor data and generate scanning reports for inspected assets. We explained the exact mechanics in our earlier article.

Digital grid for UT scan of the pipeline. Source: Spiral Technology

Using NDT in combination with AR works only for portable hand-held sensors and does not apply to robotic crawlers. On the other hand, it doesn't matter what type of sensor it is (such as a thickness gauge, flaw detector, etc.) or what technology (such as ultrasonic, eddy current, or other) it uses. What is essential is keeping the transducer in the operator's hand within the field of an AR headset.


Without affinity to any particular OEM (Spiral doesn't have arrangements to promote specific hardware manufacturers), we looked at the range of equipment from the first page of Google search. In the table below, we flagged those with some wireless connectivity.

Wireless connectivity in selected UT gauges and phased array flaw detectors

Notes to the table

  1. Olympus made an external wireless adaptor for 38DL Plus, which works with LAN or Bluetooth dongles. The LAN dongle allows you to transmit files to Olympus Scientific Cloud (which is not what we need for AR integration), while the Bluetooth dongle transmits the data to the smartphone app and third-party apps.
  2. The OmniScan X3 and OmniScan X3 64 packages include a wireless LAN dongle; however, it's not clear if it allows sending data anywhere outside Olympus Scientific Cloud.
  3. Sonus Evo features an integrated Wi-Fi module, which makes it ideal for AR integration.
  4. External Wi-Fi dongle and Wi-Fi router are available as optional accessories for Krautkrämer USM 100.
  5. Mentor UT features an integrated Wi-Fi module, which makes it ideal for AR integration.

We will continue monitoring this segment and will keep this article updated accordingly.


The latest generations of NDT probes have been released with built-in wireless modules. As the installed base of legacy devices is gradually replaced with newer, more powerful models, integration with AR solutions will become effortless.

Keywords: XR, Augmented Reality, NDT, nondestructive testing sensors, innovation, workforce productivity, Industry 4.0.
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