VISIT TO SQLEARN HEADQUARTERS

PROJECT NEWSLETTER 3/5                                                                                                    JANUARY 2022

VISIT TO SQLEARN HEADQUARTERS

With this third newsletter of our virtual reality for maritime emergencies (VR-ME) project, we inform about the progress made in our third transnational meeting, and this time, in person. The project partners all met in Piraeus in Greece, the port of Athens and the headquarters of our partner SQLearn, the developer of our virtual reality software.

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.

TESTING THE VR SCENARIOS

The fun part arrived! Thus far we have been developing scenarios and providing feedback to SQLearn on the development of the VR environment based on recorded videos of the simulations of the emergencies. This time round indicated an exciting step forward in the project as besides getting to meet each other in person again, which really facilitated the development process, we got to test our virtual reality software with a VR headset which truly immersed us in the maritime emergencies!

WE CAN NOW REVEAL OUR MARITIME EMERGENCY SCENARIOS SELECTED FOR THE VIRTUAL REALITY TRAINING PROGRAMME

Earlier last year we were still analysing how many maritime emergency scenarios in fisheries of high standard we could develop in virtual reality.

The eventual training programme will go through several maritime emergency scenarios that fishers can face. These scenarios will consist of basic and elementary information on how to address them. In addition, the training programme will include for some of the scenarios a virtual environment where the user moves on a fishing vessel facing the emergency. Emergency procedures are followed via activities in an educational VR simulation to familiarise various types of crews on board fishing vessels with the correct handling of maritime emergencies, which will contribute to their safety at work.

If you followed us closely, you would have spotted the scenarios selected for the VR simulation in our project brochure by now, which are: 1) Fire in the engine room, 2) Abandoning ship, and 3) Man overboard.

These scenarios include various crewmember positions depending on the emergency, such as captain, first and/or second engineer, deck officer, bosun and fishers, who will have to perform several actions based on his or her role to complete the training. The interactive part will be supplemented with intro and outro videos to maximise the learning outcomes and provide helpful feedback to the user.

The project partners are pleased with the VR environment developed thus far which was able to trick our senses into the scenarios. By testing it together with the VR headphones, we have found ways to further develop and improve the VR environment before moving onto the pilot testing stage.

WHAT IS NEXT?

We take one additional month to integrate the changes and adjust the scenarios before the next step can start. This next step is the complementation and improvement of the simulations via several tests in our project partner countries with possible future training course users. It is planned to take place during January and February 2022.

To manage the software properly, in February and March 2022 the training support material will be developed. This material includes a tutorial on how to use the simulator, including how to install and use the VR-ME software, minimum hardware requirements, a guide on how to use the hardware, explanation of technical features of the simulator, and indicated solutions that the application would incorporate to solve limitations. The training programme will also include all emergency cases studied and their procedure guidelines as well as guidance on how to integrate the simulations in a learning course. For better testing purposes, we aim to have the handbook ready during the pilot testing stage of the project.

The last steps will include the translation of the entire training programme bundle and VR environment during April and May of 2022, as well as the national informative events in France, Spain, the Netherlands, and Greece and a final Conference in Belgium during the months of June and July 2022.

We will release the dates for these events on our website and social platforms when the time comes, so make sure not to miss it.

STAY TUNED

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 https://vr-me.eu/newsletter/.

Contact us directly via https://vr-me.eu/contact/ or +33 297350430.

Or follow the project on social media via either LinkedIn and/or Twitter (@VRME_EU).

Thank you!

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