Here’s Proof that Hands-Free Remote Assist Actually Works

Note to Our Readers: This article was a reprint from our solutions engineer Mark Thurgood’s personal LinkedIn post that went up today. We love sharing stories like this, so keep them coming!

Does Remote Assist really work?

The other weekend, while in lockdown I had a thought. I had to change the filament on my 3D printer. Now, this is a simple job if you know what you are doing and only takes a few minutes.

Here’s the supercut

But, it led me to think about remote assistance and how useful it could be, and… could I get a 6-year-old to perform a task he has never seen, on a piece of equipment he has never touched before?

An interesting challenge and a challenge I accepted.

So, I asked my son if he wanted to take part, which he did after a little bribery.

Now, kitted out with his Realwear HMT-1 and workband, we activated a video call. After many jokes a 6yr old makes about seeing my face on a video, we moved onto the task at hand.

The first problem we had was language. As an adult or expert in this scenario, I tended to use language which he was not overly familiar with, especially when talking about components on the printer, so I had to change the way in which I spoke of certain items and be far more descriptive. This improved things hugely. Also, in this particular scenario, the ability to draw on his screen was also incredibly useful.

Once we had fixed the filament in place we had to turn on the printer and so find the power switch, which was located at the bottom and so the onboard light was a huge help here. Then we had to load the filament and the first step was to navigate through the menu of the small digital display on the printer before selecting the correct loading option. All this was going to plan quite well.

Making sure my son does not touch parts of the printer which get very hot was also a good use of being able to draw on the screen.

We had to feed the filament through a tube until we felt resistance, but then a slight pull, once this happened we could check to make sure that the loading process was complete. Turn off the loading option on the printer and job done.

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Now, it would have taken me 2 minutes to perform this task and with my son took 18, but it would have been far less fun.

So, can remote video support using handsfree equipment really work. It certainly made it easy enough that a 6-year-old could do it with nobody else in the room.