A comparative study of assembly planning in traditional and virtual environments

Nong Ye, Prashant Banerjee, Amarnath Banerjee, Fred Dech

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper presents an experiment that investigated the potential benefits of virtual reality (VR) environments in supporting assembly planning. In the experiment, fifteen subjects performed an assembly planning task in three different conditions: a traditional engineering environment (TE), a nonimmersive desktop VR (DVR) environment, and an immersive care automatic virtual environment (CAVE) VR environment (CVR environment). The effects of the three conditions on the subjects' performance were analyzed. The subjects' performance time in the TE condition was significantly longer than that in the DVR condition and that in the CVR condition, whereas the difference in performance time between the DVR condition and the CVR condition was not significant. The total number of problematic assembly steps in the TE condition was significantly greater than that in the CVR condition. Specifically, the subjects' assembly sequences in the TE condition involved more reorientations than in the DVR condition. The number of difficult assembly steps in the TE condition was significantly greater than that in the DVR condition, which was significantly greater than that in the CVR condition. The number of dissimilar assembly steps in the TE condition was significantly greater than that in the CVR condition, which was significantly greater than that in the DVR condition. Hence, the results revealed advantages of the two VR environments over the traditional engineering environment in improving the subjects' overall assembly planning performance and in minimizing the handling difficulty, excessive reorientation, and dissimilarity of assembly operations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-555
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics Part C: Applications and Reviews
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999

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Keywords

  • Assembly planning
  • Computer-aided manufacturing
  • Rapid phototyping
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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