Sleuth was getting claustrophobic. His world was shrinking from tenths to microns and perhaps soon to nanometers. He was tucked away in the far corner of the Humongous Earth Mover Company (HEMCO) metrology lab developing multi-sensor measurement system protocols for analyzing prototype engine block and fuel injector components.
He was concentrating mostly on features you could barely see. Nevertheless, if you could see them, they were often impossible to reach with conventional probes. So Sleuth used the multi-sensor software to stitch together accurate scans of the territory under consideration using data acquired by the smallest touch-trigger probe available, a camera, and even a micro-optical probe.
As long as the various probes were oriented in a common coordinate system, the software didn't care where the data came from.
He wanted to scream, "I've got to get out of here. Give me something big to measure. Let me roam the wide open spaces."
But, of course, he didn't. Even so, the metrology gods must have heard his silent plea for help because relief arrived in a matter of seconds.
"Sleuth," boomed a raspy voice from directly behind him. "I've got somebody here who would like to meet you." Sleuth bolted to totally upright in the chair where he was hunched over his laptop.
Standing next to Bob Rossi, the lab manager, he saw a strapping, tall, blond-haired guy whose tan indicated he spent a lot of time in the great outdoors.
"This is Todd Anderson from our BHT (Big Honking Truck) Division," said Rossi. "He's here to do some brainstorming with the corporate metrology staffers about some problems he needs to fix at the BHT assembly plant."
"What's it all about?" Sleuth asked.
Here's the pitch
"Time, money, and manpower," Anderson said. "There's a lot of pressure on our division to get our new earth mover models to market faster. On the other hand, engineering needs even more detailed dimensional analyses of our prototype assemblies even to the point of integrating external measurements with some taken from places inside, like in the cab and under the hood.
"These are very big units we have to measure. Sometimes it takes two or three guys and several different kinds of equipment to build up the tooling or measure the bodies. Not only does management want more data faster, they want me to get the job done with fewer people. Is that something you can help me with?"
"Certainly," said Sleuth, without pausing to think. "Come...