LKD Facility

Learning and Knowledge Development Facility

Virtual & Augmented Reality

Virtual & Augmented Reality

Virtual reality (VR) is a computer-generated simulation of an environment that allows the user to feel that they are experiencing the simulated reality firsthand. VR provides the user an immersive experience, essentially shutting out the real world, and transporting the person wearing the VR device to new places, whether real world (like a modern factory) or imagined (the world of your favorite medieval TV series, dragons and all).

Augmented reality (AR) on the other hand, layers computer generated imagery , over existing reality in order to make it more meaningful and interactive, typically viewed using mobile devices and tablets.  Using your phone camera, you could see the historic building where a ruin now lies, or you could use an AR app to seethe next steps in a factory or maintenance procedure.

Why is this a future industrial skill? Many industries are already adopting VR and AR to create computer-generated environments that their workers and customers can interact with and explore. Whether they are looking at new products before creating expensive new prototypes or using VR to visualize 3D models of components before the real parts have been made, the use of these technologies can save manufacturers money and can speed up development and production processes.  These technologies are also transforming on-the-job and vocational school training, allowing teachers to give students immersive experiences with new technologies rather than traditional classroom learning. VR and AR  can also provide access to learning about industrial machines and processes without the need for the physical equipment for students to use for learning.

Want to learn more?

Introduction to VR and AR

Company: Google VR/ Udacity
Estimated time investment: 2½  hours
Learner level: Introductory

This course is designed for students who are new to virtual reality and want to learn about the principles of VR technology including optics, displays, stereopsis, tracking, and major hardware platforms. You don’t need any programming experience to get started.

By the end of this course, you will have created and deployed a VR application. You will understand the physical principles of VR and you will use that knowledge to create a comfortable, high-performance VR application using Unity.

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Introduction to Creating 3D Models for VR

Company: Blender
Estimated time investment: 3-5 hours (for the basics)
Learner level: Introductory

This free and beginner-friendly product will help you create great custom 3D models for your first VR project. Blender makes it possible to perform a wide range of tasks, and it may seem daunting when first trying to grasp the basics. However, with motivation and the right learning material, it is possible to familiarize yourself with Blender after a few hours of practice. Blender objects can be easily imported into any game engine.

3D creation software such as Blender have an added technical complexity and jargon associated with the underlying technologies. Terms like UV maps, materials, shaders, meshes, and “subdivs” are the media of the digital artist, and understanding them, even broadly, will help you to use Blender to its best.

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VR Development: Design Visualization for Industry

Company: Unity Technologies
Estimated time investment: 17 Hours
Learner level: Introductory

This course on virtual reality (VR) for automotive manufacturing equips you with a robust toolkit of skills for the Unity 3D engine. Learn how to build and use virtual reality during the automotive planning phase to evaluate designs and finishes in real-time, familiarize executives with the car, and communicate design and engineering decisions with clients and stakeholders. Throughout this course, you will learn how to build your own VR applications with Unity for immersive automotive design iteration and team collaboration. (Note: This course is available through a Premium Trial which is free for 30 days)

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