User interfaces

User interfaces

21. 06. 2018

Robotics research group at the Faculty of Information Technology – Robo@FIT
A user interface is sometimes an overlooked part of the product, and so may therefore be taken for granted. In practice, however, user interfaces are being given ample attention, being thoroughly tested to be adapted as much as possible to the target group the product is intended for.

It is often the user interface that determines the success of the product on the market. User interfaces may be both simple and very complex. For example aircraft cockpits, power plan control rooms, etc.

The research in this area under the Faculty of Information Technology of VUT in Brno is ongoing on several levels. In the area of virtual reality, the aim is to support the development of new products so that the manufacturers can verify functionality of their designs before the prototype production is started. This substantially reduces the cost and finds its application for example in the automotive industry.

The area of extended reality was first explored by the Google Glass, which have since been sidelined. The current applications are not pointing directly to mass public use within the Smart City and Smart Society projects, but instead they are focused on industry. Our technology finds applications such as in the servicing of complex equipment where the service engineer may be supported by automatic recognition of individual parts or the user manual for the further guidance. It can also allow a live consultation with an expert on the other side of the world who would otherwise have to be physically present for a service intervention.

Wearing glasses for extended reality may be complicated in industry, since workers may be limited by other necessary external equipment. Therefore, the research groups also study methods of projecting extended reality in plants without the need to wear additional equipment, which also ensures interactivity with the projected elements that allow the user to operate the production.

Last but not least, the research focuses on the 'human-machine (robot)' interface. The aim of robotics in industry is to replace humans with robots in routine, repetitive manufacturing operations. Programming these robots even for such a very simple activity is a very sophisticated job that requires considerable effort by educated experts. The research objective is to find a user interface that allows a production foreman to easily explain to robots what to do without relying on an expert on robotics.

User interfaces is a discipline that is garnering great attention, even though it is often taken for granted without knowing all the many complications related to its development. Research in this area makes complex technical equipment available to more users.


Ing Petr Sadovský,  PhD

Faculty of Information Technology

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