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Budget VR offering improves manufacturing technician training

A group of researchers and educators have presented a revolutionary new training platform that will revolutionise the way technicians in advanced manufacturing are educated.

The Somerset Community College, located in Somerset, Kentucky, along with Tennessee Tech University, and Lynnwood, Washington’s Edmonds College, have joined forces on this initiative.

In the past, technicians and the businesses that employ them depended on pricey gear and practical training to develop the abilities required to carry out their duties.

Virtual reality (VR) has, however, created new opportunities for training since it can duplicate real-world events and provide engaging, productive learning opportunities.

The issue is that since VR apps are pricey, community and technical institutions find it challenging to use them as teaching tools.

The project has created a low-cost platform for building VR courses that can be adjusted and used by universities with minimal resources. It is led by a group of educators with relevant experience and knowledge.

Under Grant No. 2055722, the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education programme is funding this initiative. One can check out the institute’s website for more details regarding the programme.

Four VR lessons on reading blueprints, fundamental workplace safety, quality control, and geometric dimensioning and tolerance have already been created using the platform, and the results are encouraging.

Eric Wooldridge, a professor of advanced manufacturing at Somerset Community College and the project’s principal investigator, said that it is impossible to overstate the potential significance of this initiative. Although it is clear that VR is still in its infancy, it is important to think about what is conceivable given that groups of educators from the east to the west coast are capable of producing their own VR settings, lecture materials, and teaching tools.

This affordable VR platform is set to alter the game as the need for trained technicians in modern manufacturing keeps rising. It will help close the skills gap and provide the next generation of technicians with the knowledge and abilities they need to thrive.

The project team is sure that the affordable virtual reality platform would make a significant difference in technician education for advanced manufacturing. The platform is helping to engage students and keep them engaged while also enhancing memory and understanding of difficult ideas by offering a unique and engrossing experience for learners.

Teachers and business executives are both keenly following the project since it might serve as a template for subsequent technical training initiatives. Virtual reality clearly has a bright future in education, and this initiative is setting the bar for how it may revolutionise the way technicians are educated.

It is the hope of the team that the platform’s further development and refinement will have a positive impact on the professional lives and outcomes of those in the field of advanced manufacturing. They are dedicated to helping others adopt and modify the platform for their own training programmes, as well as to sharing their discoveries and thoughts with the larger community.

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