NORCAT has received international recognition for one of its innovative virtual reality (VR) training programs.
On Nov. 13, the Sudbury-based training and innovation centre announced that its Mine Rescue VR Experience is being showcased in Facebook's Oculus "VR for Good" initiative.
Facebook launched the Oculus VR for Good initiative in 2015. The goal is to support organizations that are developing and implementing non-traditional VR technologies to make the world a better place.
In a press release, NORCAT acknowledged that the "recognition demonstrates how virtual reality can influence training and education for safety in the global mining industry."
NORCAT's mine rescue simulation enables mine rescue volunteers to safely practice responding to emergency situations that are too dangerous or time-consuming to recreate in a physical mine.
Using the software, mine rescue volunteers control an avatar and work with a virtual team to respond to a limitless combination of emergency scenarios and environments any time and anywhere.
NORCAT said using the technology helps users retain knowledge, exercise critical thinking, and make good decisions.
The organization showcased the AR firefighting training simular and VR induction training program at the 2018 PDAC conference in Toronto.
At its Sudbury Simulation Training Centre, NORCAT has loader, drill rig, and bolter simulators that allow operators to receive safe and effective training while performing a variety of tasks.
The organization recently added a shotcrete simulator in partnership with Normet.
"Experiential learning technologies, including virtual reality, represent the future of training and engaged learning, as their use allows learners to effectively gain and retain knowledge through a meaningful experience," said Ed Wisniewski, NORCAT’s director of technology, in a news release.
"The Mine Rescue VR experience is just one example of the virtual learning technologies Studio NORCAT is developing to provide engaging and meaningful learning experiences that are re-defining the future of training and development."
Ted Hanley, general manager of Ontario Mine Rescue, said he is proud of the work accomplished by the NORCAT team in showcasing the critical task of mine rescue on this VR platform.
"The inclusion of the experience in the Oculus VR for Good campaign is a tremendous achievement for mine safety awareness not only in the province of Ontario, but also worldwide," Hanley said.
Full article available from Northern Ontario Business