Leonardo and the mixed reality in aerospace


Leonardo is a global high-tech company in the aerospace, defense and security sectors.
With a turnover of over 12 billion euros and R&D investments of around 12% of revenues (we are therefore talking about figures of around one and a half billion), it is the spearhead of the high tech made in Italy in the Aerospace, Defense and Security sectors .
Recently, participating in the event “Not only robotics: the evolution of technologies and skills in the Automotive and Aerospace sectors”, Antonio Mazzotta and Giorgio Sofi of Leonardo’s Aircraft Division talked about the path of innovation that Leonardo is doing with employment of mixed reality.

“In non-recurring operations and with high variability of configurations the effectiveness of the instructions is fundamental”, explained the two representatives of the company.
“Therefore unambiguous, real time and contextual instructions are needed, which can also favor the comparison between what the operator is doing and how much he should do. The mixed reality, made on the basis of the platform made available by Microsoft, allows information to be superimposed on the real context and thus improve the use of work instructions.
The experimentation activity has been going on for some time through a series of use cases with which the company is testing in the field the effectiveness of these solutions which – it must be said immediately – have already passed the point of “no return”. , having shown to be able to produce real benefits. ”

The experimentation was carried out on the wiring of a part of the fuselage of a C-27J Spartan aircraft. Four use cases have been carried out.
In the first case, the installation of the secondary structure is checked and incorrect positioning and / or missing signals are reported; in a second case, the situations highlighted in the check and the final check are corrected; in a third case there is the projection of the route of the wiring, of the small parts and of the instructions with the sequencing of the operations delegated to the department; in the fourth use case there is the projection of the wiring route, of the small parts and of the detailed instructions according to the sequence established by the production engineering.

In some of the “use cases” Leonardo is also testing the aid of artificial intelligence: a system based on neural networks takes care of recognizing the object in the hands of the operator and associating it with the models present in the system to give confirmation to the operator on correspondence.

“From the application of the Mixed Reality in the pilot area it emerged that the technology is applicable in the workshop and extremely effective for the Operator especially during the component positioning phase and the verification of their correct installation. The application is more effective for complex activities that require the installation of a large number of components and for the associated control phases ”

The Hololens have also passed the test of ergonomics. “After a first phase of learning and adaptation, the system was sustainable for the periods defined by the different use cases (maximum one hour)”.
The effectiveness of the system is however conditioned by the necessary availability of structured technical data and requires the development in the Company of specific skills (knowledge of the application, knowledge of structuring CAD data and basic IT knowledge) that will lead to an evolution of the Methodist figure and of the technologists of the department “, the representatives of Leonardo explain.


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