CSE498, Collaborative Design, Fall 2018
Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

Headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, Union Pacific is a leading railroad company with some 42,000 employees, 8,600 locomotives and 64,000 freight cars riding on 32,000 miles of track covering the western two-thirds of the U.S.

To maintain this massive infrastructure, Union Pacific must train teams of mechanics to repair and operate complex machinery. This equipment is often large, unwieldy and expensive, making it challenging to provide training that is both safe and cost-effective.

Our Augmented Reality Mechanic Training systems provide an immersive and intuitive virtual training experience using the Microsoft HoloLens and Android. Our system is separated into two educational modules: Learn About Machinery and Build a Train.

Learn About Machinery displays holographic images of equipment for mechanics to study as a replacement for actual, physical machinery. As shown in the lower example at the right, trainees can rotate and interact with these holograms, accessing detailed maintenance information.

Build a Train provides real-time instructions on how to assemble a train, verifying that each step is completed correctly along the way. Labels projected above each train car provide guidance to the trainee as seen at the right.

Our Learn About Machinery and Build a Train systems demonstrate proof that augmented reality environments such as ours provide safe and cost-effective training.

Our Augmented Reality Mechanic Training systems are written in C# using the Unity game engine. They use Vuforia for object recognition and the PiXYZ plugin to process CAD models.