Augmented and Virtual (Mixed) Reality for Asset Management in a Construction Warehousing Facility: A Modelling and Simulation Study
This research presented a practically achievable scenario of a smart warehouse receiving smart containers to be inspected smartly and effectively. This research had four objectives: review role of augmented and virtual realities in construction warehousing; define a scenario in an example construction warehousing layout and create modelling and simulation environment in Blender; simulate the scenario in interactive mode and record the features and experiences; and make recommendations for its practical implementation. A 3D model of an example scenario of inspection of containers was created in Blender software, and its Augmented Reality (AR) functionalities were configured for a simulated experience. An example process of inspection of the containers offloaded in a temporary construction warehouse was experienced within the 3D model and key features and experiences were recorded. The simulation helped in inspecting the containers using Mixed Reality. Assuming the inspector could access the AR on a Smart Phone, the containers offloaded and docked for inspection were displayed helping the inspector to quickly search a container, reach it physically via virtual path in the Virtual Reality model, and inspect it by matching details with the asset database. The constraints followed by the observer camera can guide a physical smart vehicle enabling the inspector to be auto-driven to the container. A workflow for readying the inspection scenario was proposed to be followed by the asset manager in the AR application with an expanded scenario to accommodate multiple vehicles routed within the warehouse by assigning dedicated paths with cross roads constraints.
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