Research Projects

Using marker-based augmented reality for just-in-time safety information presentation

The project was to investigate the use of marker-based augmented reality (AR) to provide just-in-time guidance and learning experiences to construction workers during construction activities. The goal was to design an information presentation system that accurately reflected ongoing construction tasks and assessed its impact on fostering an understanding of workers' task performance and safety learning. The research questions guiding this study included whether just-in-time safety information presentation on AR could improve the impact of pre-task job hazard analysis and reduce disadvantages due to lack of experience in the construction industry. The project involved the University of Houston students using the control group approach to pilot this just-in-time learning intervention and identify the unique value provided by AR's JIT information presentation. The structured research methodology enabled the assessment of the impacts on the production of explicit and implicit knowledge through AR's JIT information presentation for hazard identification in construction. In essence, the project aimed to improve constructability and eliminate safety hazards such as the risk of falls or being struck by other objects, providing guidance for future research initiatives better to take advantage of the unique value of augmented reality facilitated just-in-time training information presentation.

Leveraging immersive virtual technology for job hazard analysis

The construction industry involves various tasks and operations that can pose various risks to workers. It is essential to perform JHA to identify potential hazards and implement appropriate controls to minimize risks. Traditionally, JHA sessions have been led by experienced workers because novice workers may not identify all hazards. However, VR applications have improved significantly in recent years and offer a promising solution for improving JHA quality in a range of situations.

To test the effectiveness of VR-based JHA, the research team designed, developed, and implemented two interventions: a VR-based JHA application and a paper-based JHA. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the interventions and asked to perform JHA for a construction task. The VR-based JHA application provided an immersive experience for all participants, allowing them to identify hazards and controls in a simulated environment.

The results showed that participants using the VR-based JHA application performed better than those using the paper-based JHA approach. However, statistical significance could not be established due to the small sample size. The study found that participants' VR experience and educational background did not affect their JHA scores, suggesting that the VR-based JHA is accessible to many workers.

Overall, this research provides insights into the potential benefits of using VR in JHA and suggests that VR-based JHA may be a more effective approach than traditional paper-based JHA. While the study's sample size was limited, the results provide a foundation for future research in this area. By leveraging VR technology to improve JHA quality, the construction industry may be able to minimize risks and improve safety outcomes for workers.