Virtual tele-cooperation: Applying AR and VR for cooperative tele-maintenance and advanced distance learning
Operating complex technical systems usually requires support and maintenance. Consequently, technical personnel have to be capable and well trained. Applying just basic technical knowledge, however, is not sufficient. This is especially true for complex industrial systems with multiple interdependencies between components. Today, technicians are trained and qualified by means of courses to acquire this special knowledge. These courses take place either at the operation site requiring an expert instructor to travel or at the system manufacturer requiring the personnel to travel. Both approaches are time and, thus, cost intensive. Nowadays training can take place virtually at a distance. By applying Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) it is possible to create a feeling of presence allowing realistic communication and cooperation during the course. Our approach supports a pseudo-realistic cooperation similar to cooperation in real space. The focus is on a stepwise, user- centered approach including human factors experimentation. We describe the implementation of this experimental setup.