CORDIS - Forschungsergebnisse der EU

Education in advanced VR/AR Safety Systems for Maintenance in Extreme Environments

Final Report Summary - EDUSAFE (Education in advanced VR/AR Safety Systems for Maintenance in Extreme Environments)

EDUSAFE is a 4-year Marie Curie ITN project with 10 ESR and 2 ER researchers recruited during across the CERN-coordinated consortium with 8 other beneficiaries. Also taking into account the Associated Partners, this included 3 from industry (2 SMEs) and 4 associated partners, spread across Europe in France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Switzerland.

EDUSAFE focuses on research into the use of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) during planned and emergency maintenance in extreme environments. The context of the work for the project is the maintenance activities in the large experiments of the LHC at CERN, Geneva, Switzerland. The scientific objective of this project is research into advanced VR and AR technologies for a personnel safety system platform, including features, methods and tools. The reason for proposing EDUSAFE was that current technology was not acceptable because of significant time-lag in communication and data transmission, missing multi-input interfaces, and simultaneous supervision of multiple workers who are working in the extreme environment. The research challenges lie in the development of real-time (time-lags less than human interaction speed) data-transmission, instantaneous analysis of data coming from different inputs (vision, sound, touch, buttons), interaction with multiple on-site users, complex interfaces, portability and wearability, wear/tear.

During the last two years of the EDUSAFE program, 4 prototypes of the system were developed by the researchers. One gamma camera was designed, fabricated and successfully tested in the LHC Experiments environment. This camera superimposes gamma radiation detected on top of the physical environment. It is light, easy to use and remotely controllable. A mapping of the ATLAS and CMS detectors hottest radiation areas have been performed by the fellows. It is now envisaged to use the gamma camera for other non-LHC experiments at CERN.

One prototype of the supervision system hardware and software has been developed and already successfully tested by users. This prototype has been designed in order to guarantee effective transmission of data between the worker and the supervisor. The feedback gathered from the users was integrated in the design in order to have a system that is light and easily wearable.

Finally, two prototypes of an augmented reality system were developed and tested. One used a screen to augment the information, while the second prototype was linked to head-mounted displays. The prototypes showed continuous progress of augmentation and rendering capability throughout the project. The most remarkable progress was that the time lags of the computer vision algorithm were decreased from 1.5 s to 200 ms. This is due to the great improvement of the computer vision algorithms combined with their integration with the Weighting Resistive Matrix analogic tracking system derived from the High Energy Physics research.

The four prototypes were developed integrated and tested in two testing campaigns of one month each. During these testing campaigns, the researchers learned how to integrate a system, define a test plan, work in a team and debug a complex system and finally draw their conclusions.

These prototypes were used for outreach and to promote the work of the researchers. A video is also being created in order to record the 4 years of the project.

Based on these excellent results, the EDUSAFE consortium was approach by several prestigious institutions like the HUG (Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève) in Switzerland, to join the effort and continue to develop the EDUSAFE systems after the end of this exciting Marie Curie project.

The recruited researchers gained valuable scientific skills and highly-valued soft skills from expert and experienced organizations, which will be beneficial for their future career development in academia or in industry. Most of them have already been hired in prestigious institutions or companies thanks to the experience they gained on EDUSAFE. Half of them have completed their PhD with excellent marks. The others are still following their PhD programme and we expect that they will have finished by next year.

For further information on EDUSAFE, please see