MAKING VISION VISIBLE – INNOVATION THROUGH VIRTUAL REALITY
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Kumba Virtual Reality (VR) Centre
Interview with Prof Ronny Webber at the Mining Indaba.
Mining Weekly "Virtual reality technologies gaining traction in South African mining sector :seeing is believing"
Virtual Reality (VR) presents an environment for ‘immersive’ experiences destined to change the face of education, research and design in mining and beyond.
In a first for Africa, the University of Pretoria Mining Engineering Department with the visionary support of Kumba Iron Ore, a member of the Anglo American plc group, has created a world-class Virtual Reality Centre that enhances education, training and research in operational risk across industries through an innovative approach to information optimisation and visualisation.
We envisage that the VR Centre will revolutionise the way industries create solutions to complex challenges.
Making Vision Visible
Turning big data into information through visualisation
The VR Centre strives to be an innovative resource for bringing real-world scenarios to learners to enhance their exposure to their chosen industry; and allowing technical and other practitioners to simulate plans and designs in a risk-free environment with minimal time and resource allocation.
There are numerous operational benefits to be gained from interpreting and portraying actual data in the high-quality and realistic visual format offered by the VR Centre:
- Operational productivity and overall effectiveness can be achieved by playing out different scenarios before committing resources to a particular course of action.
- Engineers, planners and other stakeholders are better placed to make choices that take into account the long-term and socio-economic consequences of their financial and technical decisions by first considering these in a virtual environment.
- Incidents impacting operational risk can be minimised when one can simulate activities without actually exposing people or equipment to harm.
- VR allows multiple data sets to be converted into strategic business information. Once decision-makers are exposed to an immersive experience which portrays their data visually, it becomes easier to make decisions and improvements on their project design and other activities that operationalise their strategies.
By introducing this level of innovation into the educational space, faculties can differentiate by offering unique learning opportunities. Companies and consultants in an operational environment can visualise activities, guiding decision-making and allowing them to be more competitive on the basis of cost and efficiency.
A Full-Feature VR Experience
The VR Centre provides a unique, full-service, integrated VR resource which incorporates the physical infrastructure as well as expert consulting and technical support services. These include:
- An all-in-one 3D stereoscopic, immersive visualisation platform comprising a lecture hall, 3D stereoscopic theatre and 3D 360-degree cylinder.
- Access to virtual reality simulation products and modules representing a wide range of existing environments and practical scenarios.
From an education and training perspective, users derive value from contemporary experiential education in a safe, virtual world, simulating real-life, high-risk scenarios in a low risk, high impact manner.
A variety of conceptual and software modelling techniques can be integrated and explored through the simulated environment and different technical and planning scenarios can be set and analysed.
All stakeholders have access to the same visualised scenario, which assists in managing expectations and minimising misinterpretation.
Broad Applicability across Industries
The value of the VR Centre lies in its ability to use client-provided design or geological, financial and other data which can be turned into information that can be visualised. This implies a wide scope of potential users:
- Innovation, efficiency and safety in mining: Due to the requirement for creating planning, design and training scenarios for increased efficiency and reduced risk exposure in the mining space, the VR Centre provides a valuable range of benefits for mine operations, mine industry consulting, training companies and mine-related institutions.
- Understanding through visualisation in any industrial setting: The VR Centre provides endless possibility as a resource suitable for industries which can benefit from simulating real-life scenarios and the visualisation of information.
All VR solutions are created based on client-specific needs and requirements and supported by formal contracts.
To schedule a consultation or interactive VR session to explore how to make your “vision visible” in our virtual environment, please contact Johann Louw on 012 420 2084 or at [email protected].