Innovative mine safety training and mining education using 3D virtual reality

bonesworshipAI and Robotics

Nov 14, 2013 (4 years and 6 months ago)


Abstract for 23

World Mining Congress

15 August 2013, Montreal, Canada

Innovative mine safety training and mining education using 3D virtual reality

Bruce Hebblewhite

Rudrajit Mitra

Serkan Saydam

(School of Mining Engineering, The

University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia)

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) has been a
leader in the development of
innovative virtual reality
technologies over the last ten t
o fifteen years. These developments have
included developi
ng the world’s first 360 degree surround

virtual reality

stereo projection theatre
system known as AVIE (Advanced Visualisation and Interactive Environment),
which was
by iCinema, a collaborative venture between the
Faculties of Engineerin
g and
College of
AVIE is the main platform amongst a group of technologies offered through iCASTS (iCinema
Advanced Safety Training Systems). The UNSW School of Mining Engineering has been responsible
for development of mining applications soft
ware modules and to date

has developed at least
eighteen different mine safety training and mining enginee
ring education modules which

run in the
AVIE environment.

platform and technology package
ides a unique “immersive environment
” experience

groups of trainees or students who can engage with the
simulated environment in the complete
safety of the virtual reality theatre.

In all of the major international mining industries, safety is of paramount importance, and training of
personnel is an

essential component of any comprehensive proactive safety management system.
All personn
el need to be aware

of the inevitable hazards around them at all times, as well as
understand appropriate safety and operational procedures. This can be done by conv
entional class
room style training sessions, or by provision of training documentation. However the effectiveness
of such systems is often very limited due to the inability of trainers to engage with the audience for a
lengthy period of time; or to convey

the often complex and variable mining environments and
situations which
can exist in a typical mine

The ability to immerse the trainees in a virtual mine
environment, with

all the reality of a real mine

but with none of the physical exposure to actual
hazards, provides a far more effective and engaging training experience. Furthermore, in the virtual
world, trainees can be exposed to the very unlikely, but nevertheless high consequence hazards such
as mine fires, falls of ground or outbursts, without a
ny risk to their safety and well
being. The end
result is that trainees will be far more engaged with the learning environment they find themselves
in, and will develop a far higher level of understanding of the topics, rather than simply experiencing
a p
assive class
room style learning environment offered by conventional training modes.

The UNSW systems have been implemented widely within the Australian mining industry and the
mining engineering education sector and are now being adopted internationally.

This paper
presents an overview of the innovative technologies involved in these virtual reality systems

applied to the mining industry. Modules developed for both mineworker training and mining
engineering student learning will be presented, to ill
ustrate the effectiveness and value of such a
training and education approach.