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Mixed Reality and Automated Machinery

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Design II

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

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Paper Authors


Ralf Oliver Schneider Syracuse University

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Ralf Schneider is an assistant professor of industrial and interaction design in the School of Design, College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) at Syracuse University. As a designer and design educator, he offers combined European and American design values.

Prior to coming to Syracuse University, he was an Assistant Professor at the Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) in Boston and taught Industrial Design coursework at the University of Cincinnati (DAAP).

Schneider earned a diploma in Product Design at the Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee in Berlin, Germany. A competitive stipend from the German government (Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst) supported graduate coursework at The University of Cincinnati (UC), Cincinnati, USA, where Ralf Schneider was awarded a Master in Design degree in 2005.

He worked as an Assoc. Director/Senior Design Researcher at the Live Well Collaborative, founded by Procter & Gamble and UC with a unique mission to foster the collaborative, interdisciplinary design process between industry leaders and academia. In this role Schneider worked with Hill-Rom and P&G on various projects.

Ralf Schneider is interested in solving complex problems with interdisciplinary teams. His current research focuses on mixed reality, head mounted displays and the impact on design.

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When reality is augmented with digital information, it is called Mixed Reality (MR). Machinery on factory floors are increasingly automated and system integrated. The potential to support machine operators of automated machinery with a mixed reality device is tremendous. This paper is sharing the takeaways from the collaboration of industrial design students, mechanical engineers and technical writers to investigate the innovation potential of applying mixed reality in a manufacturing environment.

At the beginning of a the project two student groups analyzed, from a user-centered point of view, how an operator manages the operation of a tire bead manufacturing machine. Both production and maintenance related issues where documented.

After the opportunity areas were defined, the teams envisioned future scenarios that illustrate an improved operator task flow with the integration of mixed reality technology. A head mounted display (HMD), the Microsoft HoloLens, was chosen to allow hands free operation. As part of the multidisciplinary teamwork, the technical limitations from the mechanical engineering point of view had to be communicated and understood as well as the current limitations regarding the software and hardware of the HMD device.

This paper will describe the project path, the barriers that had to be overcome and the final mixed reality proposal that envisions how the human machine interaction will improve in the future. Further, general guidelines for augmented operation of automated and integrated machinery will be shared. Solving complex issues on a system level requires the communication and participation of the key stakeholders in a multidisciplinary context.

Schneider, R. O. (2018, June), Mixed Reality and Automated Machinery Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30813

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