November 22, 2016
The world of advanced manufacturing is changing rapidly by incorporating new technologies into their processes. Three technologies that are at the forefront of helping humans innovate in the complex world of manufacturing are artificial intelligence (AI), 3D printing and augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR). Companies all around the world are using these technologies, and even more are predicted to by 2020, according to the International Data Corporation, CFO Markets and Markets Predictions.
AR/VR technologies are already being used all over the world in the workplace to reduce employee injuries. Todd Richmond, IEEE Member and director of prototype development at the Institute of Creative Technologies at University of Southern California, explained another way that VR and AR can be used in manufacturing. “It can allow someone to create a virtual version of their personal space and “try on” most anything – from furniture to clothes. They can see what fits and what works for them without having to measure or extrapolate from pictures. Then an autonomous drone can deliver the furniture, or a just-in-time manufacturing process (3D printing, automated sewing, etc) can build-to-order.”
Brazil has its sights set on becoming a big player, using technological innovation for advanced manufacturing. IEEE Member Paulo Eigi Miyagi explained that AI will help in manufacturing and will take over some tasks that humans now perform. But this is simply a remanufacturing of jobs, where humans will actually have new tasks. Miyagi also discussed the ways that VR technology will be used for training and to predict risky situations that could put humans in harm’s way.