Apprenticeship training is at the heart of government skills policy worldwide. Application of cutting-edge information and communication technologies (ICTs) can enhance the quality of construction training, and help in attracting youth to an industry that traditionally has a poor image and slow in uptaking innovation. This paper reports on the development of a novel mixed reality (MR) system uniquely targeted for the training of construction trade workers, i.e., skilled manual workers. From a general training viewpoint, the system aims to address the shortcomings of existing construction trades training, in particular the lack of solutions for enabling trainees to train in realistic and challenging site conditions, while eliminating occupational health and safety risks. From a technical viewpoint, the system currently integrates state-of-the-art virtual reality goggles with a novel cost-effective 6-degree-of-freedom (DOF) head pose tracking system supporting the movement of trainees in room-size spaces, as well as a game engine to effectively manage the generation of the views of the virtual three-dimensional environment projected on the VR goggles. Experimental results demonstrate the performance of the 6-DOF head pose tracking system, which is the main computational contribution of the research reported in this paper. Then, preliminary results reveal its value to enable trainees to experience construction site conditions, particularly being at height, in different settings. Details are provided regarding future work to extend the system into the envisioned full MR system whereby a trainee would be performing an actual task, e.g., bricklaying, while being immersed in a virtual project environment.
|Journal||Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 5 Mar 2015|
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- School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences - Senior Lecturer