Author: Marge Taivere, Sr. Regional Manager at Cleveron, South America & Western Europe
Cleveron was in the middle of our first international installation for the grocery robot when the travel bans hit us in March. The installation and training team realized quickly that team Cleveron wouldn’t be able to travel as freely as we had before. This presented a new challenge - how do you install a robot if you cannot train the team in our headquarters in Viljandi or travel to the site? And we found a solution - augmented reality training for installations. The solution was created in just a few months and needed to be tested before asking our partners to install machines with us supporting them only virtually.
Our goal was to create technical instructions that would be clear and understandable to anyone, no matter if they had technical skills or previous experience with our technology. To test this, we gathered a special team – ladies from marketing, sales, IT, and R&D. Most of them didn’t have any previous experience in actually setting up a parcel robot. I had the great pleasure of being one of the team members.
We started by reading the technical documents about the grocery robot, installation, and calibration. After that, we also had to pass a qualifying test on Cleveron’s online training portal. The amount of documents and technical data was quite daunting at first but with each piece of information, the complicated machine became more and more familiar.
When I arrived at the training area, the girls were already getting acquainted with the augmented reality glasses and iPad that showed the machine inside and out. Our trainer didn't get discouraged by our (many, many) questions. Instead, he told us to buckle our helmets and start from the beginning.
On the first day, the four of us drove around with the scissor lift and mounted different metal parts outside the machine. It felt like a massive IKEA wardrobe assembly. A lot of screws and washers had to find their place. For me, the most exciting part was the ground wiring of the machine. Was that done correctly? We had to wait until the next day.
We knew that the second day would be much more difficult, as the calibration part in any robotics can be challenging. We turned on the main electric switch and started the signal check of all moving parts, motors, buzzers, etc. It all worked, even the lights we had grounded the day before! The second day was all about augmented reality and calibration. In a nutshell, calibration means one person crawls in and out of the machine and lifts crates to correct positions. Another person is outside and follows the AR steps on the interface. I’m not going to say it was something I understood fully, as this would take more time for sure, but the general logic draws out with some practice.
The ladies all learned a lot during these two days. Some had never ridden a scissor lift or used an electric drill before. None of us had ever used AR and were all super impressed by the technology itself. The beauty that our engineering team had created lies in simplicity, and we could experience it ourselves firsthand. Our training team also got a lot of useful feedback and they will use it to improve the training program to instruct installations worldwide.
Don’t get me wrong; during the installation, we had a lot of help from our extremely patient trainer. It is not a simple machine to install, but for sure, not impossible. We needed a solution for our installations during the times when we are not able to travel to the US, Australia, and many other countries locking down one by one; also when our partners can’t come to Viljandi for training. This special installation undertaking aimed to prove that our technical documents and AR solution are clear, understandable, and easy to use for our partners in these circumstances, with our technicians supporting remotely. And this goal was definitely achieved.
*A Cleveroonik is Cleveron’s employee.