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STARMATE: Using augmented reality technology for computer guided maintenance of complex mechanical elements

: Schwald, B.; Figue, J.; Chauvineau, E.; Vu-Hong, F.; Robert, A.; Arbolino, M.; Schnaider, M.; Laval, B. de; Dumas de Rauly, F.; Anez, F.G.; Baldo, O.; Santos, J.

Stanford-Smith, B.:
E-work and E-commerce. Novel Solutions and practices for a Global Networked Economy
Amsterdam: IOS Press; Ohmsha, 2001
ISBN: 1-58603-205-4
ISBN: 4-274-90469-5
eBusiness and eWork Conference (e2001) <2001, Venice>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IGD ()
augmented reality; multi-modal interaction; industrial application; tracking; maintenance

STARMATE is a project funded by the EU (IST-1999-10202), which aims at specifying, designing, developing, and demonstrating a prototype dedicated to computer guided maintenance of complex mechanical elements using Augmented Reality techniques. The system will provide two main functionalities: User assistance for achieving assembly/de-assembly and maintenance procedures, and workforce training to assembly/de-assembly and maintenance procedures.
The prototype will be dedicated to applications where access to conventional paper or other documentation is cumbersome. It aims at integrating digital technical manuals, construction files and maintenance procedures seamlessly into the workplace. It will rely on Augmented Reality (AR) techniques, which is a growing area in Virtual Reality research. The idea of AR is to combine a real scene, viewed by the user, with a virtual scene, generated by a computer, augmenting the reality with additional information. The ultimate goal is to create a system such that the user cannot tell the difference between the real world and the virtual augmentation of it.
In STARMATE context, AR is used to enhance the working environment with visual and audio augmentation elements. These elements will guide the user through the right procedure to apply, while performing maintenance and improve work environment user-friendliness.
The equipment of the user will consist of semi-transparent see-through goggles, allowing the user to see the real environment through the goggles and synthetic augmentation elements, projected into the goggles at the same time. For audio augmentations, the user is equipped with headphones in stereo-mode. To achieve a natural way of interaction with the system, a multi-modal concept is chosen, which enables the user to control the system through both speech and a virtual pointing device, in form of a virtual ray, placed at the head of the user, which allows designation of objects by moving the head.