Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CERES (Cognitive Empowerment Resulting in Environmental Sustainability Improvement (CERES+). Human-Machine interaction in Industrial Vehicles through an innovative Augmented Reality System.)
Reporting period: 2019-08-01 to 2020-01-31
Industrial vehicles, such as for agriculture, earth moving, mining, and forestry, are increasingly empowered by digital and cyber-physical information, i.e. data provided by various sensors. An example is NIR spectrometry used in agriculture and forestry with drones, used for mapping for the needs of e.g. precision farming . These new information-based systems aid the operators’ tasks, improving productivity and enhancing safety with better situational awareness. Moreover, machines are handling more and more data and being connected together as IoT solutions are becoming more common in industrial usage. With the advances of autonomous vehicles, it is foreseen that with higher levels of autonomy in future vehicles, the activities and purpose of an operator will transform more towards supervision of machines (supervised autonomy) rather than operating the machine itself. In addition, the operator might, for example, control not only one, but a number of machines at once.
This evolution has many benefits but there may also be negative side effects. Operation of industrial vehicles can lead to cognitive challenges and high mental load.
Head Up Display’s (HUD’s), which have been implemented in aviation for many years, seem promising as a solution to this challenge. Studies have shown that HUD’s perform best in delivering operators information needed while preventing fatigue in sectors like forestry, agriculture, mining and earth moving.
Why is this so important for society:
United Nations’ (FAO) call for food production to increase with 60 % by 2050 – is an example of an area that must be met with new technology for automation and precision farming, where better Human Machine Interaction (HMI) will increase productivity. Increased regulations on sustainable forestry and agriculture is another area where HMI can play a key-role in empowering the operators.
The capital costs of heavy machinery may reach up to 1 M€, depending on the industry. This factor limits the training time that young workers can use to learn the necessary operational skills. Allowing trainees to be guided by non-intrusive live information delivered when/where needed, lowers the entry threshold in the agricultural, forestry, or construction sectors, in turn providing wider opportunities of employment for young talents (half of the farmers in EU are 55 years or older for instance ). Similarly, if the profession of operator can rely more on technological/technical skills rather than (the perceived need for) sheer physical resilience, employers will be less biased against women entering these traditionally male dominated sectors.
Furthermore, Optea HUD improves the safety of machinery operators due to better situational awareness and thus increases productivity, decreases machinery downtime as well as machine operator fatigue and amount of absences.
What are the overall objectives:
Introducing innovative products into novel application areas through a network of stakeholders (customers, investors, providers, academia, etc), with the vision to become the leading Technology provider of AR through HUD in OHV markets such as Forestry and Agriculture. With the potential to expand to other heavy machinery-dependent industries. Optea's HUD system is named ""Forest Falcon"" in Forestry, and ""Hawk Sight"" in Agriculture."
The CERES project focused in Commercial feasibility by carrying out interviews with prospective customers in order to achieve a complete overview of the needs of the identified customers. Optea AB has prepared an analysis of all the identified prospective customers, mainly OEMs in Northern Europe. Identification of sales channels and conducting a cost analysis is also included. Results have been digested into a strategic ""roadmap for Optea’s HUD market entry"" and provided the base for the business plan.
Technical feasibility has also been analysed, with specific tasks as for example Risk Analysis with mitigation strategies and preliminary ERS (Engineering Requirement Specification) for different market packaged products.
The CERES project has in its end phases performed a IPR Landscaping analysis and own IP Pre-Diagnostic through the program IPASME. This has given input to the Businessplan, to be executed in Phase 2 of CERES project.
Optea has through the CERES project visited the worlds largest Agricultural tradeshow Agrithechnica (Hannover) where different prospective customer meetings where held and market analysis was performed.
Optea has through the CERES project visited prospective customers and achieved two Letter Of Intents (LOI's) of important interested pilot customers in the Agricultural side, one OEM and one Tier1 supplier."
HUD’s are the natural evolution in Industry and BioEconomy 4.0 enabling higher productivity, better HMI and with a number of other operator benefits. The estimated 15% productivity increase equals a gain of 30€/h in regular forestry harvesting operations. And in a total Swedish context sums up to the estimated big impact of 35B€ on a yearly basis in Sweden alone. The compatibility of this technology into other markets such as Agriculture, or Earth moving demonstrates its enormous possible impact. This CERES+ project lines out the steps to be taken for Optea to go from TRL6 to TRL9 focusing in system integration for couple entry markets, as well as business development.
So far, the CERES project is the business development base for several R&D projects in which Optea AB participates or leads. These include EU and nationally funded projects, targeting forestry and agriculture markets.
The socio-economic impact of the combined HUD development by Optea AB is large both in real values of the work carried out already now. But even much more considering the potential of the ongoing and future key enabling digitization evolution these projects bring to markets as forestry and agriculture.
The SkogsElmia Innovation Award 2019 gold medal jury motivation:
Optea AB – Forest Falcon. Today’s forest machines have such high and sustainable production capacity that their operators’ performance and stamina have a decisive effect on productivity. The Forest Falcon can involve a significant work environment improvement, contribute to improved interaction between operator and machine, and inspire future partial automation. The product can be easily installed or retrofitted on your choice of machine. HUD (head up display) is basically a technology new to the industry that can be very important.