A collaborative project led by hydraulics specialist Hydac Australia has developed a world-first virtual reality product for training maintenance staff, and which will be demonstrated to visitors this week.
The 12-month project linked Hydac with Deakin University’s Motion Lab and the Innovative Manufacturing CRC, which provided grant support through its activate program.
“Working closely with IMCRC and Deakin’s Motion Lab, we’ve developed a virtual environment that overcomes access issues and safety risks posed by in-person training, while supporting real-time instruction, feedback and verification of skills,” said Mark Kean, Hydac Australia’s managing director.
“We started this project believing the technology would be for internal use only. But our research collaboration has been so successful that we are now looking to include this training solution as part of HYDAC’s commercial offering moving forward.”
According to the project lead, the prototype program runs on an Oculus Quest 2 VR headset, and allows students and trainers to be in different locations and “virtually come together in a bespoke virtual training space.”
COVID-19 pandemic increased need for virtual reality training environments, said Dr Matthew Young of the IMCRC.
“HYDAC Australia and Deakin have developed a revolutionary technology that meets this need, with commercial applications across many sectors including education and manufacturing,” he added.
The training product will be launched and demonstrated this Friday at Hydac’s factory — located at 109-111 Dohertys Road, Altona North — as part of Geelong Design Week. More information is available here.
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