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Evaluating virtual reality and augmented reality training for industrial maintenance and assembly tasks

: Gavish, Nirit; Gutiérrez, Teresa; Webel, Sabine; Rodríguez, Jorge; Peveri, Matteo; Bockholt, Ulrich; Tecchia, Franco


Interactive Learning Environments : ILE 23 (2015), Nr.6, S.778-798
ISSN: 1049-4820
ISSN: 1744-5191
Fraunhofer IGD ()
Business Field: Virtual engineering; Research Area: Computer vision (CV); interactive learning environment; multimedia system; hypermedia system; Virtual reality (VR); Augmented reality (AR); training

The current study evaluated the use of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) platforms, developed within the scope of the SKILLS Integrated Project, for industrial maintenance and assembly (IMA) tasks training. VR and AR systems are now widely regarded as promising training platforms for complex and highly demanding IMA tasks. However, there is a need to empirically evaluate their efficiency and effectiveness compared to traditional training methods. Forty expert technicians were randomly assigned to four training groups in an electronic actuator assembly task: VR (training with the VR platform twice), Control-VR (watching a filmed demonstration twice), AR (training with the AR platform once), and Control-AR (training with the real actuator and the aid of a filmed demonstration once). A post-training test evaluated performance in the real task. Results demonstrate that, in general, the VR and AR training groups required longer training time compared to the Control-VR and Control-AR groups, respectively. There were fewer unsolved errors in the AR group compared to the Control-AR group, and no significant differences in final performance between the VR and Control-VR groups, probably due to a ceiling effect created by the use of two training trials in the selected task for participants who were expert technicians. The results suggest that use of the AR platform for training IMA tasks should be encouraged and use of the VR platform for that purpose should be further evaluated.