Virtual Reality and Serious Games for Mining Industry's Safety Training

Authors: Mei Li*, Peking University, Zhenming Sun, China University of Mining and Technology, Beijing
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Geographic Information Science and Systems, Hazards and Vulnerability
Keywords: virtual reality, unreal engine, mining industry, 3D modeling, work safety
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Grand Couteau, Sheraton, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Virtual Reality (VR) has its unique advantage for high-risk industry or extreme event scenarios. Developed mining countries such as United Stated, Australia, and Canada have Implemented VR as training environment for mining simulation, accident reconstruction and investigation, education and safety training. In the past ten years VR hardware such as CAVE or 360┬░immersive theater were chosen as common VR hardware, whereas teaching and learning functions with single-player mode and ask-answer pattern were designed for hazard awareness, self-escape, high-cost equipment operation and other safety issues. The more recently, PC-tethered VR headset with point-of-view tracking system achieves the better VR experiences at much lower costs and become a hot research direction.
In this paper, we present a way to build low-cost, online, multiplayer, and highly immersive virtual reality environment for mining safety training. We focus on the underground data collection and 3D modeling to simulate a realistic underground environment, and establish the different professional mining safety case, such as fully mechanized longwall mining, gas accident and emergency rescue. The software, regarded a serious game for mining training, are based on the game engine Unreal Engine 4 and distributed control network technology. With a desktop computer, several VR headsets and a point-of-view tracking system, this system changes the question-answer learning pattern into a simple multiply game experience.
This research reduces the traditional VR system's cost, improves training effects and avoid the dangerous and extreme working environment. The research output presents a great potential for the mining safety training.

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