Virtual and augmented reality
Virtual and augmented reality give users multifaceted access to a complex world. VTT is studying, among other things, how VR and AR can be used to promote safety and better planning in the mechanical engineering and construction industries.
Key facts: virtual and augmented reality
VTT has extensive experience of human-centred AR applications.
VTT has its own VR laboratory.
Our AR solutions are tailored to each customer’s needs.
The world is complicated and multidimensional, and the volume of data is growing all the time. Presenting data in an understandable format calls for new, intuitive user interfaces based on technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). These technologies make it possible to give the right users access to the right data in the right place and at the right time.
Virtual reality allows users to operate in an entirely artificial environment. Augmented reality is an interactive experience of a real-world environment where interfaces, data and three-dimensional models are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information provided by smartphones, tablets or AR glasses.
Tailored to users’ needs
What data each user needs depends greatly on their job description and the field in which they work.
For example, construction sites and machine shops constantly have a number of different jobs in progress, ranging from planning and installation to checks, maintenance and dismantling. Each worker needs plans, simulation data, instructions, warnings and measurements relating specifically to the task at hand.
VR/AR technology can be used, for example, to provide training, facilitate planning or coordinate production processes and warehouse logistics. Technology helps workers to perform their tasks more reliably, more safely, more efficiently and without having to rely so heavily on their memory. Technology also makes it possible to illustrate to decision-makers and engineers how a product or a building looks right now or how it will look in the future.
Virtual reality provides a safe environment in which to simulate dangerous situations, manipulate robots or drones, or correspond remotely with on-site maintenance workers.
Benefits across the entire life cycle of assets
More and more industrial sectors rely on what are known as digital twins to help visualise the big picture.
Virtual and augmented reality make it possible to build user interfaces for managing mechanical engineering or construction assets and the associated data, such as hidden elements, throughout the life cycle of the product or building.
VR and AR are technologies, but we study them and their potential from a human perspective.
We at VTT try to find practical applications for VR and AR. Our focus is human-centred and starts with determining what users need and how competent they are in using technology. We want to increase safety, reduce the risk of mistakes, make work more enjoyable and optimise productivity.
Example case: ESA
Augmented reality supports astronauts in complex repair tasks
Training astronauts to maintain advanced equipment before the mission is extremely time-consuming. ESA and VTT developed a head-mounted AR tool that visually guides the astronauts in completing maintenance tasks and enables training during the mission.
- Reduces the need for preparatory training
- Reduces the risk of human error and improves work efficiency
- Zero reliance on mission control centre