VR for Impact: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Robocognito submitted a proposal for HTC’s VR for Impact project, and we are excited to have been invited to provide more information for second-round consideration!
VR for Impact uses virtual reality to drive positive impact in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. For our proposal, users experience the point of view of a wind turbine technician, 200 feet above ground. The concept relates to Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Our experience would serve two purposes: (1) ignite a passion among prospective workers (high school and junior college students, for example) for a career in clean energy; and (2) identify people who cannot work at extreme height before they enter a pre-apprenticeship program.
Wind turbine service technicians install, maintain and repair wind turbines, a cornerstone of clean energy. According to the United Nations, a well-established energy system supports all sectors: from businesses, medicine and education to agriculture, infrastructure, communications and high-technology. A skilled workforce will be essential for long-term sustainability of any clean energy system.
The VR experience we propose would provide an authentic glimpse of what it’s like to work in this field. Wind turbine technicians generally work outdoors and at great heights. This can be thrilling or a very challenging working environment.
Once users put on the head-mounted display, they will find themselves working at 200 feet, atop a turbine housing in a wind farm. Users will perform basic tasks associated with standard maintenance and repair of wind power systems.
Our experience will feature VR game play mechanics typically found in commercial games: highly detailed models and textures, haptic feedback, spatial audio, player achievement tracking, win or lose states, and real-time interactivity. Experience-controlled fans would generate authentic wind conditions. Depending on host and number of units deployed, we can capture player info for training organization outreach with a learning management system.
We hope to develop two experiences, each with technically accurate settings and tasks, spatial audio, and haptic feedback. The first scenario uses room scale VR to guide a player through maintenance checks on top of a large wind turbine. The second experience uses a suspended harness to simulate the player performing maintenance and repairs on a windmill turbine blade, hanging in the air.
Both experiences would include technical interactions in each scene and interactive, experience-controlled fans to mimic dynamic wind conditions.
During development, we hope to establish partnerships with government agencies for renewable energy and energy efficiency research, as well as non-government agencies that promotes sustainable energy solutions and empower communities to develop and own clean energy asset. We also will partner with subject matter experts to ensure the experience is as authentic as possible.
Our goal is to expose students and young adults to career opportunities in clean energy by providing the experiences at the lowest possible cost to educational institutions and trade organizations. We would also like to partner with industry stakeholders to develop safety simulation tools further.
At Robocognito, we’re passionate about VR, and it’s potential for training and education. We believe we can reduce accidents and save lives by offering VR training tools to underserved industries. We believe VR training and safety tools will attract the next generation of skilled workers and address a critical workforce shortage in clean energy.
Here is a sneak peek at our experience.