Operating a tower crane in virtual reality
For the Macedonian Center for Social Innovation Blink 42-21, we have created a safe virtual environment of a crane operator's cabin inside a VR application, intended for training, testing and developing skills of future tower cranes operators on construction sites and work sites.
A safe learning environment is provided
There are certain professions that require a specific type of person and that are not for everyone. Operating a tower crane, where a working day takes place at great heights and requires an extraordinary degree of concentration and skills at all times, is certainly one of such professions. Many only realise this when they actually have to climb into a small glass cabin on top of a crane's tall steel structure.
To avoid this – and to ensure that future crane operators are trained for the job as best as possible – education and training in a virtual reality environment can come to the rescue. This offers a user the opportunity to get a feel for the cabin or work environment, learn the proper procedures and work with crane arms and try out the tasks: all this in a home environment.
Recreate the circumstances of demanding work at heights
The main advantage of virtual reality is that it allows you to experience a certain environment regardless of where you are physically located. It is especially useful in hard-to-reach or potentially dangerous environments. For example, operating a crane cannot be learned only in theory, learning or work practices in a real environment are rare and represent quite a challenge.
In the VR application for operating a tower crane, a comfortably seated user puts on VR goggles and holds a handheld controller in each hand. The two controllers, which are synchronized with the operation of the crane within the VR application, serve as control levers for its operation. With them, the operator turns the arm of the crane and controls the metal rope and hooks when carrying and moving loads.
From quiz to demonstration of practical knowledge and skills
At the beginning, the application greets the user, a short introduction with instructions for using the controllers is played, and the user can look around the cabin and get a feel for the workplace. He then takes a short quiz in the first part, and completes three work tasks in the second. The last part brings two challenges of unforeseen circumstances, in regard to which the user must react properly.
Modern tool for practice and learning
Fully immersive experience
Functioning crane as in real life environment
The VR experience allows future crane operators to gain insight into the working environment, get to know the crane and operate it, pass tests, and perform movements through learning and occasional repetition.