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Training industrial workforces can be a challenge for many businesses, as it often involves potential health and safety issues, logistical arrangements, as well as complex training scenarios. The Virtual Training Creator (VTC), developed by HSSMI with funding from the XR4ALL platform, seeks to make the process of workforce training much easier by leveraging the opportunities offered by virtual reality.
Virtual reality (VR) enables users to immerse themselves in realistic, risk-reduced work scenarios, where they can learn the required skills and procedures fixed to a role. This has been estimated to both increase trainee engagement and improve the quality of the learning outcomes.
However, designing a training application in virtual reality demands a specific skillset and knowledge of coding and programming, which can be complicated and time-consuming. This is where the VTC tool comes in. By providing a plug-in with user interface (UI) template and pre-developed functions for Unreal Engine, the VTC tool can help manufacturers take their training approach from the physical to the digital environment. The development requires no coding and can be easily implemented by manufacturers who want to upskill their employees. At the moment, the plug-in can be downloaded for free from the XR4ALL platform.
The VTC tool can integrate a variety of different inputs – work instructions, animated 3D models, and training features. The plug-in has been designed with the user in mind, to make it as user-friendly and intuitive as possible. No pre-existing knowledge of programming or coding is necessary to be able to work with the plug-in. Moreover, the UI template can be easily edited based on the requirements of the training or to adapt it for the next iteration of the training.
However, if some support is necessary with the VTC plug-in tool, HSSMI offers an additional training module for the plug-in. Within this add-on, HSSMI experts will provide their hands-on support to set up, integrate, and build an immersive training solution for the customer. This add-on helps further decrease the amount of time and resources necessary to develop a training.
Overall, the VTC plug-in and training module offer a full package to manufacturing organisations with limited in-house experience of creating training applications. It also eliminates the knowledge barrier, as programming or virtual reality skills are not needed. With simple step-by-step instructions provided by the Virtual Training Creator, new users will be able to effortlessly create a workforce training in the virtual world.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme through the XR4ALL project with Grant Agreement No 825545.
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