Developer Designing Digitally have revealed that they were approached by an unnamed client who needed a rather specialised form of training for employees. Namely, the client needed a way to teach power line engineers how to clear trees and debris away from power lines. Designing Digitally turned to virtual reality (VR) for a solution.
Designing Digitally determined that the best way to tackle this problem was the immerse the learners in the environment they would be operating in as a way to teach them how to cut down trees in a way that was both safe and fun.
The task is threefold, the trees near the power lines need to be cut without damaging equipment, hurting anyone or affecting the bottom line of the company. The VR scenario built by Designing Digital therefore follows a branching structure, where different actions and decisions lead to different outcomes.
The developer reproduced within the VR environment several incidents which the client had already experienced, some dangerous, some involving a heavy monetary cost to the company, all of which reflective of the sort of scenarios engineers were likely to face in the field. If a learner makes errors, they are provided with further information and teaching without it needing to cost the company money, and without anyone receiving an injury.
The resulting experience is called VR Serious Game: Chop & Drop. It is compatible with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Chop & Drop uses 3D sound and haptic feedback to make the experience as immersive as possible.
Reportedly, the client company have received VR Serious Game: Chop & Drop very favourably and it has resulted in a reduction in the amount of accidents and errors, which means reduced liability for the client company. Designing Digital conclude saying that they will be pleased to offer further updates when they are released by the client company.
You can watch a trailer for VR Serious Game: Chop & Drop below.