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Developed in conjunction with Australia’s national science body, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), start-up company Fountx is launching a new assisted reality technology for the aerospace industry, Fountx_AsR. Consisting of a hands-free, head-mounted computer and camera, a near-eye display allows users to interact intuitively in real time to repair and maintain aircraft remotely. The company is about to trial its technology in aerospace applications in partnership with ST Aerospace, it announced on 12 February.

With potential applications across a broad swathe of industries, Fountx will be focused initially on the defence and aerospace industries. “Our device is purpose built for use in complex industrial environments and remote locations, such as oil and gas, mining and health. Due to its simple operation and ability to interface with most operating systems, Fountx AsR provides an improved safe environment for the user,” explained the company’s General Manager, Laurence Beraldo. “Technical teams can access the guidance they need by glancing up to an above-eye display, and they can still clearly see what is right in front of them. It doesn't affect their spatial awareness or increase cognitive load, which is a big advantage over virtual or augmented reality technology.” 

Together with TAE Aerospace, which launched Fountx as a technology company late last year, the company showcased the technology last week at the Singapore Air Show. ST Aerospace has become one of the first companies to look at the potential Fountx_AsR may have for its own operations. “As part of our continuous commitment to deliver MRO services with high standards in quality and safety, ST Aerospace been investing in Smart MRO initiatives, including digitising our hangar and shop floor operations. We are happy to work together with technology companies such as Fountx to explore how to enhance our operations with digital solutions,” commented ST Aerospace’s Chief Operating Officer, Jeffrey Lam.

First introduced in 2016, Fountx_AsR has seen major product improvement since, including improved passive cooling, increased fidelity, a custom high definition camera and a world class display lens in the headset.

Launching innovative technology into the global market would not have been possible without the support of parent company TAE Aerospace, CSIRO and a number of government agencies including Queensland Government Department of State Development (DSD), Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) and the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade),” commented Beraldo.

We’re proud to have provided the scientific, technical and logistic support that helped build this new commercial opportunity. TAE Aerospace and Fountx are key examples of how CSIRO is helping reinvent manufacturing in Australia. By developing and exploiting disruptive technology platforms, we’re supporting the creation of new businesses and industries for Australia and the world,” commented CSIRO Science Director and Deputy Director of Manufacturing, Dr. Cathy Foley, congratulating TAE Aerospace and Fountx on their partnership with ST Aerospace.

Tim Mahon

 

The Fountx_AsR headset could revolutionise traditional approaches to maintenance, repair and overhaul, potentially making it routine for interventions to take place remotely. (Photo: Fountx)

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