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Feasibility Study of Augmented Reality to Support Undergraduate Elevator Service Mechanic

Laan, T.J. van der (2014) Feasibility Study of Augmented Reality to Support Undergraduate Elevator Service Mechanic.

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Abstract:The report explores the opportunities for Augmented Reality for the Maintenance and Repair service industry. The maintenance of OTIS elevators is applied as a use case. First, the current state of the Augmented Reality technology is investigated. Second, the context of the service technician is studied. The results of these researches define if it is feasible to create an Augmented Reality application to support the undergraduate elevator service technician. Augmented Reality is a cutting-edge technology that creates an environment where digital information is inserted in an essentially real world view. It enriches the real world in real time with digital data (for example, AR projects digital data from a MRI on a patient). In certain cases, Augmented Reality relieves cognitive workload and moves all relevant information to the field of view of the user. The user can work on a task, without losing his focus. A head-up display of a fighter jet is an example. The technology is still in its infancy, but has improved greatly this decade and became known to the general public. The computing power and the amount of sensors increased enormously in portable devices, which make mobile Augmented Reality applications obtainable. Image recognition improved greatly and makes it possible to track multiple surfaces at once. Recognition and tracking of three-dimensional, reflective objects is still a complex task for image recognition technologies. Glasses with Augmented Reality are in development. The smartglasses of Google, Atheer Labs, Epson and Meta are examples. Numerous applications are invented to show the advantages of the technology. Promising applications are expected for medical, maintenance, entertainment, simulation, navigation, and assembling purposes. A workday of an elevator service technician of OTIS Elevator Company is investigated, to define a problem. The research indicates that troubleshooting is one of the most time-consuming tasks on a day. Modern OTIS Elevator systems become more reliable, which reduce the amount of repeating failures and makes it harder for service technicians to learn by doing. A systematic approach and communication skills are become more and more essential to easily find the cause. A technician consults an expert by telephone, when the technician cannot think of any reason. The problem is: ‘How to support the undergraduate service technician to solve a failure faster?’ The ability to exchange experiences and retrieve measurements from the past makes Fluke Connect an interesting solution to solve the defined problem partially. Fluke Connect is an application for the mobile phone and introduced in May, 2014. The application manages measurements and links these measurements to components of the workplace. In addition, the exchange of measurements and communication between technicians is simpler. A technician can compare a measurement result with a previous measurement, to determine easily if a measurement is correct. The Fluke Connect system does not replace the expert. The knowledge of the team of technicians and the OTIS’ engineers compared is much greater than just the information inside an application database. To solve unknown and irregular failures faster, experts should be more involved in the workplace. Augmented Reality is added to the system, to involve the expert virtually to the problem from a distance. The expert can easily view the workplace of the technician, and appends virtual comments to the real world. The senses of the expert are almost fully immersed. Thereby communication is easier and troubleshooting becomes faster. The hypothesis that Augmented Reality supports the technician to solve failures faster is reflected to an invented system design. The system design presents a futuristic concept based on a smartglass (an AR-glass based on the Google Glass and other smartglasses) and a tablet. With this system, a technician finds components and devices in a workplace more easily, places virtual (failure) notes to communicate more effortlessly and starts a virtual chat with experts to retrieve a cause faster. Hand gestures and a touchpad are the user-interfaces of the system. An operational scenario is illustrated in chapter 4.7 and confirms the formulated hypothesis. Further research, evaluate the design and developing a prototype for example, is needed to test the hypothesis quantitatively.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:20 art studies
Programme:Industrial Design BSc (56955)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/66099
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