The Future of Work and Safety with AI and wearables
From virtual reality contact lenses to augmented reality training, enable a step-change in efficiency and safety in the energy and process industries
In the time it takes to read this blog, the rate of innovation continues. Technology once a mere figment of the imagination, is available and spur the development of new innovative applications, as my video presentation from global energy conference CERAWeek* shows. From virtual reality contact lenses to augmented reality training and artificial intelligence for industrial operators, technology and applications are available that enables a step change in operational efficiency and safety in the energy and process industries.
By leveraging these technical innovations, we can reduce human mistakes, onboard new talent faster, and get better overall at managing industrial operations safely and efficiently. The availability of ruggedized, certified mobile devices has enabled mobile apps to be developed, that supports field workers to perform their tasks in a safe, efficient and practical way. Augmented or Mixed Reality glasses (AR/MR) such as the Hololens provide an excellent training tool, using interactable 3D models of the real facility, along with the procedure and process models so that operations and maintenance teams can be trained and certified in the execution of procedures in a safe environment.
Field operators can also use a tablet or smart phone to work connected, guided step by step, with access to real time information and perform work synchronized with the control system. The objective of eliminating the things that can go wrong is further supported by the built in camera. Scanning a QR code ensure work is performed in the right context, and a photo proof to verify that work was performed correctly. As an example, the number of incidents and accidents caused by operators acting on the wrong valve, in the wrong sequence or left in the wrong position, shows a huge opportunity for improvements. Voice commands and voice synthesize together with a Virtual Assistant using AI can additionally enhance the ease of work, knowledge and safety of the operator by providing notifications and information related to the area and task at hand.
Describing these use cases with words is nothing like experiencing augmented reality yourself, and as I mentioned, technologies continually improve in our iterative and agile world. I encourage you to connect with us to see ABB Ability™ Augmented Field Procedures live, or visit https://new.abb.com/cpm/industry-software/abb-ability-augmented-field-procedures to read more.
*The CERAWeek 2020 live conference was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, but content has been made available digitally.