Natural Virtual Reality User Interface to Define Assembly Sequences for Digital Human Models
Digital human models (DHMs) are virtual representations of human beings. They are used to conduct, among other things, ergonomic assessments in factory layout planning. DHM software tools are challenging in their use and thus require a high amount of training for engineers. In this paper, we present a virtual reality (VR) application that enables engineers to work with DHMs easily. Since VR systems with head-mounted displays (HMDs) are less expensive than CAVE systems, HMDs can be integrated more extensively into the product development process. Our application provides a reality-based interface and allows users to conduct an assembly task in VR and thus to manipulate the virtual scene with their real hands. These manipulations are used as input for the DHM to simulate, on that basis, human ergonomics. Therefore, we introduce a software and hardware architecture, the VATS (virtual action tracking system). This paper furthermore presents the results of a user study in which the VATS was compared to the existing WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus and Pointer) interface. The results show that the VATS system enables users to conduct tasks in a significantly faster way.
Published in: Applied System Innovation, 10.3390/asi3010015, MDPI