Liang Gong, Visiting Researcher at Production Systems IMS, defends his doctoral thesis.
Liang's research interest is about exploring the potential industrial applications of virtual technologies such as 3D scanning, VR, AR. "How could manufacturing benefit from the recent advancements of virtual technologies? What are the obstacles and challenges to integrate virtual technologies into production systems?"
Opponent: Associate Professor Peter Törlind, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden
In the digital transformation of the manufacturing industry, computer-mediated reality, also known as extended technology reality (XR) technology is believed to be the key element for realising the Industry 4.0 vision. XR technology, with its three representative forms, augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR) and virtual reality (VR) have created new ways for users to interact with computer systems.
The goals of this thesis are to contribute to knowledge about integrating XR technology into manufacturing and helping the manufacturing industry benefit from the latest advancements in XR technologies. Thus, this thesis aims to bridge the knowledge gap and facilitate the process of integrating the latest XR technologies into manufacturing.
This thesis highlighted the advantages of XR solutions compared with conventional approaches in terms of the flexibility, realistic visualisation and nature interaction. This may save time, help with design cost issues and facilitate involvement and communication across all stakeholders. Moreover, this thesis proposed the general framework of user-centred extended reality system development. This provides clear guidelines on the steps and methods needed for integrating XR systems into manufacturing. The framework was validated via internal and external cases and was shown to be effective in guiding the XR integration process in manufacturing and in ensuring the quality of integration.
Manufacturing companies that plan to adopt XR technologies as part of their Industry 4.0 vision may benefit from the knowledge generated in this thesis. Such knowledge might help kick-start the integration of XR whilst avoiding common mistakes. This thesis also pointed out future research directions for the XR technology integration within the manufacturing industry.