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Design and evaluation of a haptically enable virtual environment for object assembly training

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3 Author(s)
Dawei Jia ; Centre for Intell. Syst. Res. (CISR), Deakin Univ., Geelong, VIC, Australia ; Bhatti, A. ; Nahavandi, S.

Virtual training systems are attracting paramount attention from the manufacturing industries due to their potential advantages over the conventional training practices. Significant cost savings can be realized due to the shorter times for the development of different training-scenarios as well as reuse of existing designed engineering (math) models. This paper presents a newly developed virtual environment (VE) for training of procedure tasks i.e. object assembly. Unlike existing VE systems, the presented idea tries to imitate real physical training scenarios by providing comprehensive user interaction, constrained within the physical limitations of the real world. These physical constrains are imposed by the haptics devices in the virtual environment. As a result, in contrast to the existing VE systems that are capable of providing knowledge generally about assembly sequences only, the proposed system helps in cognitive learning and procedural skill development due to its high physically interactive nature. In addition a novel evaluation framework has also been proposed to evaluate system efficacy through a large scale of user-testing, which is often been neglected by design experts in the field of VEs. Results confirm the practical significance of evaluating a VE design by involving sample of real and representative users through the effective discovery of critical usability problems and system deficiencies. Results also indicate benefits of collecting multimodal information for accurate and comprehensive assessment of system efficacy. Evaluation results and improvement of existing design are also presented.

Published in:

Haptic Audio visual Environments and Games, 2009. HAVE 2009. IEEE International Workshop on

Date of Conference:

7-8 Nov. 2009