Skoda testing AR app for technical maintenance
Car manufacture Skoda is testing a new augmented reality application – known as HoloLens glasses – to assist with production line maintenance.
The new technology provides enhanced assistance for technicians, facilitates live remote training and helps to reduce the likelihood of errors, claims the car company.
The trial technology allows manuals, maintenance checklists and other documents to be projected as holographic images directly into the user’s immediate field of vision while working. This AR view can also be shared during video calls to show what is being seen on the line and consult with colleagues who are not on site.
Through the glasses, engineers can view holograms of manuals, checklists and instructions during technical maintenance. Once the staff member has scanned a QR code on the respective equipment, the embedded documents interactively guide them through the maintenance work step-by-step with photos and videos, allowing technicians to be hands-free at all times. When a task has been completed, the technician ticks it off with a hand movement in the hologram.
Comprising actual glasses in order to make holograms visible as well as a camera-projector unit, the HoloLens glasses feature a visor that can be flipped up at any time to pause the mixed reality. The program is being delivered as part of a pilot project led by the company’s Central Technical Service department and the Skoda FabLab.
Says Miroslav Kroupa, Head of Brand Management at Skoda Auto:
“As part of our current pilot project, we are relying on augmented reality to optimise the maintenance and repair of our machines and to minimise the error rate. With the HoloLens glasses, our technicians have all the relevant information at a glance at all times and can concentrate fully on their work at the same time. In this way, the AR glasses help to further increase work safety.
“The tool makes it possible to exchange information flexibly anywhere and at any time, even with colleagues at other locations or in different time zones. This speeds up maintenance processes significantly and is an enormous advantage, especially in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the glasses add gamification elements to everyday work and inspire young candidates for technical professions.”