chapter  23
Semi-immersive interactive virtual environment for training on lathe machine
WithAbdulaziz M. El-Tamimi, Mustufa H. Abidi, Abdulrahman M. Al-Ahmari
Pages 6

Engineering students, factory operators, or researchers need to practice and conduct experimentations in workshops to supplement their learning process. However, it is not necessary that the desired equipment is always available for all the people. Moreover, sometime, there may be risk and difficulties associated with complex equipment that may injure operator or damage the equipment. Therefore, Virtual Reality (VR) provides an efficacious solution for these problems. During the last decade VR technology has been widely applied to the areas relating to manufacturing, such as assembly planning, prototyping, maintenance planning, factory layout planning, etc. Immersive VR gives a sense of immersion to the user that enhance the presence of user in the digital environment. Therefore, in this paper, a semi-immersive interactive Virtual Environment (VE) is developed to train the students, operators, or researcher for lathe machine operations. The key elements of the environment include: (a) 3D realistic virtual models of the machine; (b) interactive buttons; (c) audio and visual feedback and instructions and (d) intuitive interaction with the help of hand and head tracker. This virtual platform will help the operators to gain the knowledge and skills required to operate a lathe machine safely. An initial evaluation study with the engineering students has been conducted to assess the developed VE. The results showed that the students feel that interaction using tracking system and immersion gives them a sense of presence in the digital world that is helpful in acquiring skills and makes learning easy. Moreover, students gain their security and safety instructions well, and it is reflected in their performance when they operate a real lathe. Therefore, VR based environments can successfully train the students, and operators for using a lathe machine.