AgriSphere Introduces Virtual Reality Training
agVR comes standard with grain elevator environment that places users in familiar agricultural facility
AgriSphere LLC, an industry leader in management software, training systems, and compliance programs, releases its new agVR virtual reality (VR) training application.
agVR uses the latest mobile virtual reality technology to create interactive environments in a portable and cost-effective package.
The app can be operated from smart phones and low-cost virtual reality headsets, such as units from Lenovo and Google.
agVR comes standard with a typical grain elevator environment that places users in a familiar agricultural facility.
The virtual facility includes a scale house with truck scale, motor control center with controls, tool crib, bucket elevator leg with head service platform and ladder, and grain bins among other agricultural equipment or elements.
AgriSphere can also custom design and build virtual reality environments for customers enabling employees to perform VR tasks within the very facility in which they work.
The app is designed to provide employees with a training experience that traditional classroom training cannot provide while eliminating the hazards and logistical challenges of certain on-the-job training methods.
Employees can move through the VR environment to perform maintenance tasks, perform lock-out/tag-out procedures and other safety activities, and complete programmatic documentation (forms, permits, etc.) without stepping foot into the facility.
This helps employees identify and understand procedural requirements and process steps, as well as critical safety hazards that they may encounter while working.
This type of hazard-free exposure is especially important for new employees who may not have experience or familiarity with agricultural facilities or their associated hazards.
Employee performance can be evaluated on critical tasks and activities by utilizing tests, quizzes, and actionable choices that can be incorporated into each training module or script.
The enables active coaching by instructors overseeing the training activities.
This level of engagement between new employees and instructors/experienced employee can be difficult to achieve in real operating spaces and work areas of a facility.
In the basic implementation, participants follow visual cues that are scattered throughout the environment.
Moving from one point to another within the application is accomplished by visually staring at each checkpoint until they are transported to that location.
This type of navigation is particularly efficient and allows participants to transition through the course.
Certain VR headset systems include a controller (or two).
Incorporating controller use allows personnel to interact with the VR environment directly, such as opening a door, lifting a panel, or using a hand-tool.
The agVR system is integrated into AgriSphere’s enterprise Learning Management System (LMS), the AgriSphere Training Center.
Courses taken in virtual reality are registered and scored in the participant’s official training profile, just like other video-based courses that the Training Center provides.
Certain topics, such as grain bin entry and lock-out/tag-out, are capable of integrating the video-based training that the LMS provides, virtual reality scenarios and situations in which employees participate, and live, hands-on training to effectively satisfy various compliance requirements.
agVR is an excellent tool for onboarding new employees, especially temporary employees who may be onboarded in a seasonal fashion.
Additionally, agVR blends well with other standard onboarding safety, operations, and human resources training course requirements.
VR courses can uniquely incorporate elements of a company’s safety, maintenance, and food safety programs in order to provide realistic scenarios, compliance requirements, and tasks and activities.
For example, AgriSphere’s lock-out/tag-out safety course uses a maintenance activity of changing a drive belt on a bucket elevator leg as the reason for performing the lock out.
Participants will complete a maintenance work order for replacing the belt which requires them to follow all lock-out safety and maintenance steps and activities during the training evolution.
Moving beyond training, AgriSphere plans to offer agVR in an engineering capacity to customers investigating new construction at their facility.
By using engineering blueprints and schematics, AgriSphere can model equipment, buildings, and facility layout elements in virtual reality providing stakeholders with a first-person view of the project.
Process flow and layout issues that would otherwise be identified after construction has begun may be identified by initial reviews in virtual reality. Scope, scale, fit, and even aesthetics can be evaluated by exploring the virtual facility to review the project.
Building on agVR, AgriSphere intends to expand its virtual technology into the realm of augmented reality in the future.
Augmented reality (AR) can project virtual components, diagrams, documents, and even videos into the user’s line of vision.
This means that they can see an explosion component diagram of the machine or equipment on which they are working just to the side of the actual machine.
This projection puts the augmented content into the space around the use, as if it was actually suspended in front of them.