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Physically Realistic Simulation of Mechanical Assembly Operations in a Virtual Reality Training Environment

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Online Engineering and Society 4.0 (REV 2021)

Part of the book series: Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems ((LNNS,volume 298))

Abstract

Virtual technologies are becoming more and more important in the manufacturing industry. In particular when it comes to the education of employees and production work, cognitive assistance systems offer a high potential for enhancing efficiency. The use of Virtual Reality (VR) for an assembly simulation allows for cost-effective training of employees. In such assembly simulations, however, it is essential to make the training content as realistic as possible in order to avoid unacceptable training effects. This research paper presents a technical solution of a virtual training environment that allows a physically realistic simulation of mechanical assembly operations. As part of this project a VR application was developed in which the trainee learns the assembly processes for the production of a complex mechanical component. To provide the most realistic learning experience possible, various functionalities have been implemented. A methodology has been developed which physically correctly reproduces the kinematic sequences of the components in the respective assembly processes. In addition, virtual tools such as a hammer or a torque wrench are provided to the trainee, which can be operated in a natural manner. Furthermore, interactive 3D visualizations are used to cognitively support the trainee during the assembly tasks. To validate the developed VR application, an evaluation with trainees was conducted, which showed that the VR application is more satisfying and easier to use compared to paper-based instructions. Therefore, this technical solution offers a scalable alternative for companies and schools to teach mechanical assembly tasks.

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Acknowledgements

This research and development work is based on “AWARE”, a project of the “it’s OWL” Leading-Edge Cluster, partially funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

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Correspondence to Florian Dyck .

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Dyck, F., Pilates, M., Masjutin, L., Stöcklein, J. (2022). Physically Realistic Simulation of Mechanical Assembly Operations in a Virtual Reality Training Environment. In: Auer, M.E., Bhimavaram, K.R., Yue, XG. (eds) Online Engineering and Society 4.0. REV 2021. Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems, vol 298. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-82529-4_18

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