Earthmovers of the future: Augmented Reality
Like every day, you get ready to go to work, arrive on site and you find yourself looking out at the following situation: earthmoving vehicles and machinery in motion that are surrounded by drones controlled by operators wearing augmented reality visors....you think you've walked right into a scene from a futuristic science-fiction movie? Well think again!
The world of earthmovers is changing: we can officially say that - with the spread of electronic devices connected 24/7 and the development of artificial intelligence machines - the future is already here! Soon these futuristic earthmoving machines will be considered run-of-the-mill on construction sites.
Research institutes all around the world are working to develop new technologies applicable to earthmovers. Let's have a look at the latest news and try to understand what this type of machinery will look like in the future.
Apparently, they will look very much the same as they do today, but underneath everything is going to change: communication with the operator, energy efficiency and even the framework will be built with nanostructured and self-repairing materials.
One of the technologies that is about to revolutionize the world of earthmovers is Augmented Reality (AR). What is it about? AR technology allows for the visualization of data, text messages or overlapping images to be viewed thru the use of visors worn as glasses. Today, augmented reality is identifying applications in the most differing business sectors.
Without any doubt, this technology is among the first of its kind to be used in earthmoving vehicles and machinery, as it is easily applicable in the short term: augmented reality visors have been widely developed, no significant investment is required and at the same time, it has a meaningful impact on the work performed by operators.
Augmented reality offers enormous potential in the area of maintenance performance. In fact, there are apps that recognize machinery components, such as engine parts or hydraulic pumps, and display them live in 3D. Traditional print maintenance manuals would no longer be needed as the operator would be able to see the assembly and disassembly of parts in 3D. Thanks to the virtual instructions displayed in the augmented reality visors, operators are able to perform minor maintenance tasks as they work “hands free”.
Another augmented reality application is used in training. Forget about boring new-hire training sessions or courses on the latest earthmoving machinery functionalities. There is an app that reads dashboards. Using the visor technology, a virtual dashboard is created and superimposed over the real one - all you have to do is click a button and the app conveys its function. Real on-site training!
Last but not least is assistance. The visors are particularly useful when identifying equipment failures. Using a remote control, the operator is able to give a precise analysis of the situation in real time by connecting on-line with the help desk.
Back at the help desk, technicians are able to superimpose the virtual diagrams and manuals, identify the problem, and, if the issue is small and simple, are able to suggest how to resolve the problem step by step, viewing exactly what happens when giving instructions through an integrated hand free headset.
Augmented reality is only one of the technologies that will change the way we work. Over the next few weeks, we will continue updating and informing you with the latest news regarding earthmovers of the future!
What do you think? Do you think these innovations are going to improve your job?