Evaluation of Mixed Reality Support for Bridge Inspectors Using BIM Data - Digital Prototype for a Manual Task with a Long-Lasting Tradition
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ISSN der Zeitschrift
i-com: Vol. 21, No. 2
Bridge inspectors work for the safety of our infrastructure and mobility. In regular intervals, they conduct structural inspections – a manual task with a long-lasting and firmly normed analogue tradition. In our collaborative research project, we developed Mixed Reality (MR) and Virtual Reality (VR) prototypes to support that work digitally. We propose a mixed analogue and digital workflow using Building Information Modeling (BIM) data that can be ready-to-hand for bridge inspectors during their work on-site at a bridge. In this paper, we describe the system and the evaluation results of our final MR demonstrator at a autobahn-bridge in Germany. We identified a need for a digital MR tool to support the bridge inspection in-situ. In general, this matches with the trend to bring the computer-supported office-work out into the real world. However, there are also challenges to consider, like lacking BIM data for existing bridges and structures, appropriate user-interfaces in this new application domain, or the need to adopt norms and guidelines for public tender. We argue to consider a user-centered design approach for future developments to best profit from the bridge inspectors’, as well as the MR- and CSCW-researchers expertise, and ultimately increase the acceptance of the developed information systems.