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The usability of a novel mobile augmented reality application for excavation process considering safety and productivity in construction

Fathima Nishara Abdeen (School of Built Environment, Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
Randima Nirmal Gunatilaka (CBRE Pty Limited, Sydney, Australia)
Samad M.E. Sepasgozar (School of Built Environment, Faculty of Arts, Design and Architecture, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
David John Edwards (Department of the Built Environment, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK and Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)

Construction Innovation

ISSN: 1471-4175

Article publication date: 9 December 2022

59

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to assess the usability of augmented reality (AR) based mobile app for excavation and earthmoving processes using a novel tool entitled Excavator Augmented Reality (EAR).

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed-methods research approach was used through conducting experimentation to collect qualitative and quantitative data collected from the Sri Lankan construction sector. EAR app was used for experimentation in outdoor areas examining how a 360° tracked hydraulic excavator can be navigated in different physical environments similar to the real prospected job.

Findings

The findings reveal that EAR could make a considerable impact on enhancing productivity, safety and training processes. However, the developed EAR App subjected to assessment demonstrated the highest satisfaction gap for the auditory aspects. Among the remaining criterion, the satisfaction met user expectations for comfortability and no-risk practice. An analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) conducted revealed that visualising the excavator activities and the requirements of improved features were the highest agreed strengths and weaknesses of the EAR. Among the opportunities for improvement, the necessity of improving emergency and safety reached the highest agreement. Moreover, the study presented the challenges in introducing mobile augmented reality (MAR) to the construction sector under the political, economic, sociocultural, technological, environmental and legal (PESTEL) model along with solutions to be taken.

Originality/value

This study provides a novel approach to addressing the safety, productivity and training concerns in heavy mobile plants and machinery on construction sites which remains to be unexplored to this end.

Keywords

Citation

Abdeen, F.N., Gunatilaka, R.N., Sepasgozar, S.M.E. and Edwards, D.J. (2022), "The usability of a novel mobile augmented reality application for excavation process considering safety and productivity in construction", Construction Innovation, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/CI-07-2022-0168

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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