Army contract to use augmented reality for MRO needs
Against the backdrop of war abroad, the role of maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) is being highlighted by the the U.S. Army. The Army Application Laboratory (AAL) awarded a Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to Seattle's Taqtile to fulfill their Augmented Reality Maintainer-Operator Relay System (ARMORS) vision. Taqtile, a provider of augmented reality (AR) based work-instruction solutions will "expand deployment of the company’s innovative Manifest platform to address the Army’s Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) needs across multiple vehicle platforms," according to a March 15 press release.
U.S. Army mechanics like this soldier shown above can use Tactile's Manifest to access and follow spatially anchored, step-by-step instructions with embedded multimedia content to efficiently complete complex maintenance tasks. (Photo: Business Wire)
The recently completed Phase 1 program enabled the Army to validate Manifest’s unique capabilities to support digital transformation of motor pool MRO. Manifest demonstrably empowered personnel to complete complex tasks more safely, more efficiently, and more accurately than was possible with outdated paper-based processes.
“Modernization isn't only about helicopters and drones and the capital platforms,” said Thomas Mead, Army Application Laboratory Project Manager. “AAL is excited to continue work with Taqtile on a solution that will actually improve soldiers’ experiences in their routine work. Taqtile's Manifest platform is a state-of-the-art upgrade to the way soldiers perform preventative maintenance on their vehicles that will save time and money while improving readiness.”
“The nature of service in the Army results in a high amount of turnover in its motor pools as soldiers rotate through their assignments,” said Mr. Kelly Malone, chief customer officer, Taqtile, which was the 2020 Microsoft Mixed Reality Partner of the Year and a proud member of Fast Company’s “World Changing Ideas” list in 2021. “The expanded use of Manifest with Army personnel will clearly demonstrate that we are uniquely capable of delivering knowledge right to operators and the equipment they’re working on, helping them perform like experts.”
Phase 2 of the project will further integrate Manifest with existing Army IT systems, including automatic initiation of resolution processes. Manifest will also deliver enhanced permission-based management of workflows, building upon Manifest’s industry-leading AR-based guidance.
During the vehicle maintenance process, Army mechanics can access and follow Manifest’s spatially anchored, step-by-step instructions with embedded multimedia content to efficiently complete complex maintenance tasks the first time. Device agnostic and highly scalable, Manifest also delivers additional support when needed, giving motor personnel real-time access to AR-enabled, step-by-step guidance from expert Army technicians, anywhere, anytime.
Manifest can also serve as a digital repository for maintenance and repair information, including video and audio “notes,” and related documents such as Army Technical Manuals (TMs). Vehicle-specific repair information can be seamlessly transferred between personnel, reducing delays and risk of human error.
Demonstrations of the Manifest platform can be found here: https://taqtile.com/contact/