PROJECT NEWSLETTER 4/5
THE PROJECT CONSORTIUM WAS INVITED BY OUR PARTNER THE EUROPEAN FREEZER-TRAWLER ASSOCIATION (PFA) TO ROTTERDAM FOR OUR FOURTH TRANSNATIONAL MEETING. ROTTERDAM IS THE LARGEST SEAPORT IN EUROPE AND LOCATED NEXT TO THE MAAS RIVER. WE WERE KINDLY HOSTED BY THE SHIPPING AND TRANSPORT COLLEGE (STC) GROUP, KNOWN FOR ITS SIMULATOR PARK.
IN DECEMBER 2019, SIX VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING PROVIDER EXPERTS, AS WELL AS REPRESENTATIVES OF THE EUROPEAN FISHING INDUSTRY, STARTED AN ERASMUS+ PROJECT CALLED ‘VIRTUAL REALITY FOR MARITIME EMERGENCIES’, UNDER THE ACRONYM ‘VR-ME’. FOR 30 MONTHS THE PROJECT PARTNERS WILL WORK ON DEVELOPING A TRAINING PROGRAMME AND VIRTUAL REALITY SIMULATION FOR MARITIME EMERGENCIES ON BOARD A FISHING VESSEL.
MARITIME EMERGENCIES SIMULATOR DEVELOPMENT
Simulation makes it real! At least this is what we are aiming for, an immersive environment based on a trawler fishing boat and the formal training requirements for fishing crew to be complimentary to their existing training. Virtual Reality (VR) will lead to a significant change in the way we teach and learn. VR is characterised by immersion, sensory feedback and interactivity. A recent meta-analysis showed that the use of VR (in a broader sense) in training increases learning success, especially with short learning contents.
Our scenarios with the simulations of maritime emergencies – being fire, man overboard, and abandoning ship – developed for the VR environment, have been going through several feedback rounds over the last months.
A final evaluation of the VR tool was performed during this transnational meeting and the scenarios are now ready for testing.
THE VR-ME TRAINING COURSE
To make the use of the simulator easy and accessible, installation guidelines and a simulator handbook have been created to be used by training organisations and fishermen facilities. They would improve and facilitate the simulator comprehension. Each scenario is accompanied with a brief theoretical introduction and some explanations before one enters the 3D environment where tasks have to be completed according to the most common maritime emergency situations onboard fishing vessels. The outro videos and evaluation mode will facilitate an optimum learning experience, as well as the various avatars that can be played.
The VR-ME training course will become available in open access format, accessible by downloading the software and using an Oculus VR headset.
THE FOLLOWING STEPS
During the meeting in Rotterdam the partners also planned the pilot workshops and the national information days as well as the final conference in Brussels, Belgium.
Pilot testing will take place between a trainer and end users in France, Spain, and the Netherlands. In the same countries and in Greece, information days will also be set up to receive external evaluation on which the simulations can be complemented and improved.
These events will take place in May, June, and July, so we invite you to follow closely our media platforms and website www.vr-me.eu for the dates, invitations and way to register.
The final conference in Brussels is planned to take place in mid-July 2022 on which we will keep you informed of the final date. It will be the perfect opportunity for you to test the 3D environment and to talk with the VR developers and the project partners.
If you are interested in following the VR-ME project, you may choose to keep informed via your platform of interest:
You can subscribe to the newsletter at http://vr-me.eu/newsletter/.
Contact us directly via http://vr-me.eu/contact/ or +33 297350430.
Or follow the project on social media via either LinkedIn and/or Twitter (@VRME_EU).
 Spilski, J., Exner, J. P., Schmidt, M., Makhkamova, A., Schlittmeier, S., Giehl, C., … & Werth, D. (2019, November). Potential of VR in the vocational education and training of craftsmen. In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Construction Applications of Virtual Reality.
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