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Empowering rock operator in Tele-operated mining

Tangible workstation for new work environment

 

DETAILS

Collaboration 

New Boliden, Interactive Institute (Piteå)

 

Team

Eduardo Ferreira, Melissa Hellmund 

 

Duration  

10 weeks, Fall 2015,

Umeå Institute of Design

THE CHALLENGE

New Boliden, Swedish mining industry, planned to introduce rock breaking operation from the remote location for the rock operators.  The introduction has made a dramatic improvement in the work environment and personal safety of the operators but has led to the loss of precious information for the rock operator working.

The feedback from the machine is limited, resulting in lack of involvement in the task.  We were asked to develop a concept to enhance operator's support in teleoperated mining environments.

THE OUTCOME

IWA, The proposed future workstation empowers the rock operator to make critical decisions while operating. It provides tactile information connecting the operator and remote location information by visual and auditory feedback. The concept vision was delivered in the video form.

 

PROJECT FOCUS

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Rock operator

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Handling Machine from distance

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New work environment

 

CONCEPT : Operator in Focus

In the future work environment, several operators work in a collaborative office environment.  The multi-modal workstation interface empowers the operator to make a decision when to break the rock. 

 

DETAILS : Interaction touch points

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Multimodal Interface

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Tangible information

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Touch points to recreate the mines

  Interaction elements   concept consists of four main points   of interaction: screen, Crusher Palette, Pointer (handheld device) and Control Panel.

Interaction elements concept consists of four main points of interaction: screen, Crusher Palette, Pointer (handheld device) and Control Panel.

 

WORKSTATION: Key highlights

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Object trajectory

The rock is moved to the crusher with the pointer. The aerial view of the crusher from the mines is displayed. Topological representation of the screen highlights rock fractures. 

 

Dynamic surface

Palette is the metaphor of the Crusher pit,  surface with two modes, engraved fractures and 3D; allows the exploration of rock surfaces.

Rock exploration

It provides haptic feedback and allows the exploration of surfaces for a more careful and engaging decision-making process.

 

 

APPROACH: User understanding

After the field visits to mines, interviewing and observing various industries, we clustered the obtained information into three different primary directions. 

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I have to look down to see the rock crusher directly to operate
— Rock operator
  Operator Task analysis

Operator Task analysis

  Collecting & analysing insights from field visits

Collecting & analysing insights from field visits

  Key question from the field visits

Key question from the field visits

  Work flow of the operator

Work flow of the operator

 

OPPORTUNITY MAPPING

 How can the Rock Operator be highly involved & provided with valuable feedback in a table- Operated remote mining environment?

  Tangible Feedback  Increasing automation makes it challenging to involve the operators. How to increase operator’s involvement levels by making the experience of breaking the rock more engaging within 15 years.

Tangible Feedback Increasing automation makes it challenging to involve the operators. How to increase operator’s involvement levels by making the experience of breaking the rock more engaging within 15 years.

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 Improving vision  The operators lack visual cues of the rocks in camera images while operating. How can visual be enhanced for the operator?

 

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  Shift in the role of the rock operator  Bad environmental conditions in mines and is shifting automatic. What’s the role of the operator going to be in automated future? Decision making, multi-task supervision Interdependent and network system.

Shift in the role of the rock operator Bad environmental conditions in mines and is shifting automatic. What’s the role of the operator going to be in automated future? Decision making, multi-task supervision Interdependent and network system.

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PROTOTYPING AND TESTING

Screen Interface Evaluation Testing possibilities of performing tasks and recieving haptic feedback from the screen

  Features of the workstation  for making job engaging for the operator

Features of the workstation for making job engaging for the operator

  User testing workstation setup  We Created of work station for the rock operator to evaluate our concept and further we refined it on the basis of the feedback

User testing workstation setup We Created of work station for the rock operator to evaluate our concept and further we refined it on the basis of the feedback

  Testing the haptic modes  with the participant

Testing the haptic modes with the participant

PRODUCTION

  Video filming Setup

Video filming Setup

  Behind the scenes from filming workstation

Behind the scenes from filming workstation

MY CONTRIBUTION

 Research and synthesis, Concept ideation, Human-Machine Interaction, User experience, Project aesthetics, Production