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A comparative study of assembly planning in traditional and virtual environments

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4 Author(s)
Ye, N. ; Dept. of Ind. Eng., Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ, USA ; Banerjee, P. ; Banerjee, A. ; Dech, F.

Presents an experiment that investigated the potential benefits of virtual reality (VR) environments in supporting assembly planning. In the experiment, 15 subjects performed an assembly planning task in three different conditions: a traditional engineering (TE) environment, a nonimmersive desktop VR (DVR) environment, and an immersive CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) VR (CVR) environment. The effects of the three conditions on the subjects' performance were analyzed. The subjects' performance time in the TE condition was significantly longer than that in the DVR condition and that in the CVR condition, whereas the difference in performance time between the DVR condition and the CVR condition was not significant. The total number of problematic assembly steps in the TE condition was significantly greater than that in the CVR condition. Specifically, the subjects' assembly sequences in the TE condition involved more reorientations than in the DVR condition. The number of difficult assembly steps in the TE condition was significantly greater than that in the DVR condition, which was significantly greater than that in the CVR condition. The number of dissimilar assembly steps in the TE condition was significantly greater than that in the CVR condition, which was significantly greater than that in the DVR condition. Hence, the results revealed advantages of the two VR environments over the TE environment in improving the subjects' overall assembly planning performance and in minimizing the handling difficulty, excessive reorientation and dissimilarity of assembly operations

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Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part C: Applications and Reviews, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 4 )