SAFETY FIRST: VR MINE TRAINING
Our client has the greatest hard coal resources and extraction potential in the European Union. The company hires almost 45,000 employees and the mining areas of their mines cover more than 650 square km. In order to prevent the number of underground accidents, they asked us to develop a specific VR mine training app.
VR Mine Training
HTC Vive Pro/Oculus Go Unreal Engine
Visual results video
Safety in the workplace is no accident
In response to the expectations of cheap and high-quality energy our client strives for raising the effectiveness and optimizing the production costs, maintaining high standards of environmental protection, as well as health and safety issues.
As a key partner in building the energy security of Poland, the client asked us to develop a VR mine training app that decreases the number of underground accidents. One of their miners entered the transmission belt, which unexpectedly moved, grabbed him and threw in a machine that smeared his leg, causing death.
The purpose of our application is to reflect the conditions of this situation in VR and to create training that is intended to teach miners the correct order of performing security activities.
Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself
The app prepared by our team allowed the client to avoid the expensive consequences of human errors. It teaches how to avoid mistakes and how to know what to look out for. At the end of each VR mine training session, all steps are to be collected in a report: showing the miner all good and bad choices.
There is also a possibility for an ‘exam session’, where all tips and instructions are hidden – forcing participants to provide the right order on their own. Such a solution should be mandatory for all workers in order to avoid employee reluctance due to missing knowledge (as well as to avoid worst-case scenarios, including death).
VR mine safety training decreases the cost of training by eliminating the necessity of going 700 m down the mine (which costs 30 min one way and can distract other miners). The application successfully facilitates every health and safety training until this day.
Process and project scope
The wide functionality of VR mine safety training includes moving around realistic models of the working equipment. Just as in real life, miners have their own set of virtual tools which can be used in a few ways. All activities have their consequences, following a structure of a logical tree – created under the client’s strict supervision.
The VR mine training includes all known scenarios leading to injuries, teaching miners the correct order of security operations. All the features of the app allow users to exercise the practical skills that are essential for their workplace.
We combined realistic sounds of working machines with detailed graphics (based on real pictures) of the mining area and equipment creating a highly immersive simulation of working conditions.
The project was run in Scrum from the very beginning. Each sprint lasted two weeks. In order to prepare the proper environment we decided to visit the client’s mine and take some pictures of equipment and surroundings.
We create the real value
To create the presented application, we used the Unreal Engine 4, which was best suited to rendering the realism of the surroundings. We have also used 3ds max and Substance Suite.