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Augmented Reality for Maintenance and Repair

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Uploaded on Oct 10, 2009

As part of our exploration into the potential benefits of using AR for maintenance and repair, we designed, implemented, and user tested a prototype augmented reality application to support military mechanics conducting routine maintenance tasks inside an armored vehicle turret. Our prototype uses a tracked head-worn display to augment a mechanics natural view with text, labels, arrows, and animated sequences designed to facilitate task comprehension, location, and execution. A within-subject controlled user study examined professional military mechanics using our system to complete 18 common tasks under field conditions. These tasks included installing and removing fasteners and indicator lights, and connecting cables, all within the cramped interior of an armored personnel carrier turret. An augmented reality condition was tested against two baseline conditions: an untracked head-worn display with text and graphics and a fixed flat panel display representing an improved version of the laptop-based documentation currently employed in practice. The augmented reality condition allowed mechanics to locate tasks more quickly than when using either baseline, and in some instances, resulted in less overall head movement. A qualitative survey showed mechanics found the augmented reality condition intuitive and satisfying for the tested sequence of tasks.

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