AR/VR Technology Gains Traction in Aerospace

Design News recently discussed the Augmented and Virtual Reality solutions being deployed by aerospace companies in areas such as design, training, manufacturing, and maintenance. According to a survey commissioned by Grid Raster in July, 42% of participants intent to integrate AR and VR technologies in the coming year. An additional 51% are researching AR/VR operational use cases.

Some ways in which AR and VR can be utilised in aerospace mentioned in the article include:

  • Design and manufacturing – wires can be set virtually rather than manually, saving weeks of time. AR/VR can also teach workers how applications are meant to function in a virtual world.
  • Repair and maintenance – AR provides a visual overlay on the screen of the work that needs to be completed without a manual or video guidance, getting the equipment in the air faster.
  • Training – AR and VR can build “muscle memory” via remote simulators. This is less expensive and allows for lower risk training.

The percentage use of AR/VR in areas of aerospace as reported by Grid Raster are as follows:

  • 83% AR-assisted workforce on production lines
  • 75% AR-assisted maintenance and customer visits
  • 53% employee training programs
  • 30% AR-assisted design processes for aerospace engineers

Rishi Ranjan, CEO of Grid Raster, has acknowledged the impact of COVID-19 on aerospace’s implementation of AR and VR. Of the executives involved in the study, 28% claimed that COVID-19 greatly affected their decision to utilise AR and VR. Furthermore, 39% implied that the pandemic directly incited their adoption process. Ranjan suggested that AR/VR use is due to the current remote nature of work, as a virtual environment can “easily” be moved into employees’ homes.

The efficiency of AR and VR is noted as a reason for its adoption, with the majority of survey respondents reporting a 15-20% increase in efficiency and 5-10% increase in cost savings. However, AR and VR have different uses within aerospace; Ranjan stated that VR is mostly used for training and maintenance, whereas AR is mostly used for manufacturing and repairs.

Cloud technology is also covered in the article as a key factor in AR/VR adoption. The survey revealed that 51% of aerospace executives are focused on the need to move AR/VR solutions to a cloud-based environment, as the technologies require “considerable computing power”. As devices get lighter, cloud connectivity growth is also anticipated, as this allows for better functionality and scalability.

Read the full article here.


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