Reduction in training and sustainment costs through AI-mediated Job Status Tracking in AR/VR

Keeping operating and support costs for weapon systems low

One of the biggest challenges for the DoD is to keep operating and support costs for weapon systems low. Maintenance and sustainment is 39% of these costs
1. At the same time, weapon systems maintenance is critical to defense readiness.
2. The 2014 drawdown which saw a reduction in close to 20,000 airmen throughout the Air Force, combined with the retiring workforce have led to a shortage of maintainers and a skill and knowledge gap. The lack of an efficient method to store and transfer knowledge from expert maintainers and effectively train less experienced maintainers has resulted in increased personnel training costs as well as unplanned downtime. Innovative solutions are needed to accelerate the development of junior maintainers to experts by leveraging the expertise of senior personnel.

In our work with defense customers funded by SBIR contracts, we find that AR/VR experiences that merely put “sticky notes” or “check lists” on equipment are not as effective as experiences that can track individual steps of the worker activity and provide corresponding feedback. We enable the system to figure out and alert a technician when she makes a mistake. This allows such systems to expand beyond training use cases and assist workers become more efficient in day-to-day work.

We enable training a worker in half the time for half the cost, and one-third the instructor time. Our platform improves first time yields (FTY) by 10%, and reduces manual assembly related quality issues by 60%, resulting in significantly reduction of maintenance and sustainment costs.

Managing U.S. Air Force Aircraft Operating and Support Costs: Insights from Recent RAND Analysis and Opportunities for the Future. Boito et al. 2016. RAND Corporation. Click here

The drawdown blew a hole in the Air Force’s maintenance ranks. How it’s digging its way out. Stephen Losey. March 5, 2017. Air Force Times. Click here