LexX Technologies, which is helping Airbus Helicopters, Etihad Airways and Jetstar improve troubleshooting by younger mechanics, has opened a reseller company, AI MaintTech, to help clients in the Americas. Along the way, LexX has further improved its Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning tools for troubleshooting and is looking at new tools including Augmented Reality, Internet of Things technologies and possibly brain-computer interface, according Sperry MacNaughton, president of AI MaintTech.
“LexX’s ability as an intelligent assistant for maintenance technicians has grown substantially over the past few years,” MacNaughton says. The software can now read both digital and handwritten documents rapidly. LexX has significantly expanded its ability to automatically ingest documents, the first step in exploiting these documents to help mechanics. It has also improved its ability to recognize parts and has refined the software’s interaction with users with a Chatbot function.
Now LexX is working with the University of Technology Sydney on brain-computer interface and plans to trial this approach with the University. The idea is to capture expert intuitions through sensors fitted in a headset, MacNaughton explains. “This process is based on the principle that the brain reacts to visual inputs before it further processes and rationalizes so that other senses can communicate through vocalization or gestures. An expert's brain stores the learned experience so that, when faced with a similar situation, it provides an intuitive solution in a flash. This phenomenon is sometimes called gut-feeling or instinct.”
The LexX exec says this approach will be able to assist novice mechanics with the acquired expert intuitions. One potential application is in visual inspection of aircraft.
In addition to its aviation clients, LexX is also working with transportation and energy companies to improve maintenance.