CSIRO has signed a licensing agreement with aerospace and engineering company, TAE, to commercialise wearable technology that enables field asset maintenance staff to ‘virtually work’ with technical experts off site.
The technology will be available to aerospace companies worldwide later this year.
The wearable headset and glasses, called the Guardian Mentor Remote (GMR), enables aircraft repair and maintenance workers to seek assistance from technical experts who work remotely. The field worker can virtually work alongside an expert as he or she goes through the process of maintenance and repair.
This means technical experts are not limited to assisting field workers over the phone or spending time and money travelling by plane whenever a repair or maintenance job needs doing.
“In the aerospace industry, costs associated with aircraft downtime are a critical issue. If a plane’s not operational, it can cost a company up to $12,000 per hour. Therefore, any technology that makes maintenance easier, and helps bring down repair times is a valuable investment,” said Andrew Sanderson, managing director of TAE.
Read: Gartner forecasts smartglasses could save the field service industry US$1 billion per year by 2017.
The technical expert can use a tablet to communicate with the field worker and see through the field worker’s connected headset and glasses where the problems are for repair. Besides verbal guidance, the expert can mark up what is being relayed through the glasses, pointing out exact parts, which the field worker is able to see.
Boeing and Aviation Australia have trialled the technology, with the GMR being part of a suite of wearable tech for field asset maintenance workers across various industries such as healthcare and emergency, mining, manufacturing and utilities.
“Robotic and digital solutions are improving operating safety and efficiency for Australian industry. As we have increased access to high-speed broadband, this makes the possibilities even more exciting,” said Dr Marcel Bick from CSIRO’s Manufacturing Flagship.