Lockheed Martin, a global security and aerospace company based in Bethesda, is mainly engaged in the research, development, manufacture and upkeep of advanced technology systems, services and products. The company has now turned to augmented reality to build fighter jets. Engineers are using this technology at the factory where they are manufacturing the F-35. With the use of AR glasses and educational software which provides visuals in real time while the plane is being assembled, it is ensured that every part of the fighter jet is in the correct place.
Collaboration with NGRAIN
For the use of augmented reality, Lockheed is teaming up with NGRAIN, a company based in Vancouver, which creates software and claims that when combined with AR glasses, the software will let engineers work 30 percent faster and with up to 96 percent accuracy. Lockheed is now running a trial in which their employees are made to wear Epson Moverio BT-200 augmented reality glasses. These are transparent glasses and have a front-facing camera which uses depth and motion sensors to project images onto the working environment of the engineers.
For instance, when an engineer wearing the AR glasses, is setting up a brake element on the landing gear, he just has to look at the wheel through the glasses and he will be able to see description of every cable and bolt with ordered instructions about where each part has to be and also their part numbers.
How can Augmented Reality Help?
With the use of augmented reality on developing fighter jets, people who have minimum amount of training can easily take part in the manufacturing process and complete it successfully. This means, the cost and time for training is lessened. By seeing the instructions in front of their eyes they will be able to retain their knowledge in a much better way than just by reading manuals or listening to classroom instructions.
Barry Po, director of product management at NGRAIN says “[It’s] the difference is between passively observing and actively doing.”
The repair process is also increased with the use of AR. The AR system is developed on tablet software that NGRAIN created for Lockheed to change the pen-and-paper notation. With this system, engineers were able to interpret a 3D model of the plane prior to the repair. This increased the repair process from days to hours.
Right now, the Epson Moverio glasses are still in trial mode in the factory floor of Lockheed. However, it will be difficult to use this technology in military bases where the technicians of Lockheed handle repairs to keep the jets ready for battles. This is because the military doesn’t allow the use of cameras on the bases.
Despite the rules, it is expected that augmented reality will be used in the manufacturing of fighter jet planes.
What do you think?
Do you think with the use of augmented reality glasses for manufacturing process will become easier? In what other ways can AR glasses be used? Share your views in the comments below.
Image Source – paper.li
Article Source – popularmechanics.com