Augmented expertise

Tuesday 27th August 2013
Above: Courtesy: Delta Cygni Labs. Below: Extreme environments

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Thales Alenia Space Italy have developed a prototype system allowing remote experts to project their instructions directly onto equipment being used by on-site personnel. The newly projected ARS (augmented reality system) will be further developed and commercialised through the recently launched VTT's spinoff, Delta Cygni Labs.

Advanced Logistics Technology Engineering Center (ALTEC ) is the Italian centre of excellence for the provision of engineering and logistics services to support operations and use  of the International Space Station and the development and implementation of operations control centre dedicated to robotic planetary missions.

Expert knowledge is necessary to support operation, maintenance, and repair of complex equipment in aerospace, energy, transport, machinery and other industries. Experts can help solve critical problems for which on-site personnel are unprepared and travel to the equipment is both time-consuming and often expensive.

VTT and Thales Alenia Space Italy  developed a prototype system that implements a new collaboration paradigm: connecting the remote expert and on-site personnel by projecting the expert instructions directly on to the equipment.

The key practical advantage of this system is its high usability.

For the remote expert, it is as easy as pointing at the equipment with a remote laser pointer. Instructions projected directly on to the work area can be seen simultaneously, by several on-site personnel without the need to wear glasses or other devices or use displays.  The system also helps to shorten equipment downtime, leveraging expert knowledge without delay, and saving on travel costs.

Demonstrations held at Thales Alenia Space Italy and ALTEC in Italy in December 2012 received very positive feedback from industry representatives for usability and application potential in complex assembly and maintenance on ground, undersea and in space.

The projected augmented reality system will be further developed and commercialised through VTT's spinoff Delta Cygni Labs.

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