RESEARCH ARTICLE


Supporting the Changing Roles of Maintenance Operators in Mining: A Human Factors Perspective



Leila Alem1, *, Weidong Huang1, Franco Tecchia2
1 CSIRO ICT Centre, Australia
2 Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Italy


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Tecchia et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Corner Vimiera and Pembroke Roads, Marsfield, NSW 2122, Australia; Tel: +61 2 9372 4366; Fax: +61 3 9545 8080; E-mail: leila.alem@csiro.au


Abstract

Rapid advances in networking and hardware have made it possible for remotely located individuals to perform physical tasks. Recently a number of systems have been developed with each supporting a different scenario of remote collaboration. Of particular interest to us is to explore the value of these technologies in the context of mining. As automation is being introduced in mines, more and more skilled operators are operating remotely. As a result, onsite operators’ job becomes more complex and requires input from remote skilled operators. The productivity of the future mine relies on the effective delivery, just in time, of remote guidance. This paper presents a remote guiding system called HandsOnVideo, which is developed as part of our Human System Integration project within the CSIRO’s Minerals Down Under (MDU), a National Research Flagship. Our aim is to design and develop a system that supports a remote helper guiding a mobile local worker in maintaining complex equipment in mine sites. The system is developed following a participatory design approach and the results of a usability study with real users indicate that the system is useful and effective.

Keywords: Remote collaboration, human factors, augmented reality, mobile computing, remote gestures, shared visual space.