CSIRO has signed a licensing agreement with Australian aerospace company TAE to commercialise CSIRO’s Guardian Mentor Remote (GMR) wearable technology system.
TAE will make the system available to the global aerospace industry.
The GMR system consists of a helper station and an operator station, which both use a wearable computer with a helmet-mounted camera and a near-eye display.
The display allows the off-site expert to demonstrate what needs to be done using a pair of virtual hands.
For example, GMR could be used to remotely connect technicians with aviation experts around the world.
This means companies can undertake aircraft and engine repairs/maintenance without having to fly in specialist engineers or mechanics.
According to TAE managing director Andrew Sanderson, the technology has huge potential to bring down maintenance costs for airlines, particularly those in regional locations.
“In the aerospace industry, costs associated with aircraft downtime are a critical issue,” he said in a statement.
“If a plane’s not operational, it can cost a company up to $12,000 per hour. Therefore, any technology that makes maintenance easier, and helps bring down repair times is a valuable investment."
The CSIRO’s Dr Marcel Bick said the GMR prototype has already been trialled by Boeing and Aviation Australia.
“We see huge potential for GMR in a number of settings including the general manufacturing, mining, automotive, paper and pulp and rail industries,” said Bick.
“It could even be used to provide remote medical assistance for field health workers and emergency scenarios.”
Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick