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Hess Virtual Reality Lab
The first virtual reality training lab entirely dedicated to Oil and Gas drilling training simulation is located in the Collaborative Energy Complex (CEC), a part of UND College of Engineering and Mines.
The Hess Virtual Reality Lab provides detailed, interactive virtual models of the state of the art drilling platforms currently in operation in North Dakota and around the country. As an introduction to the techniques and skills needed to operate a drilling platform, the VR lab enables engineers to train on the use of drilling machinery, including practice with complex drilling processes in a risk-free virtual environment.
The VR training lab will be accessible from anywhere in the world, supporting close collaboration between the University and participants from industry in a shared virtual space where they can review machinery and perform simulated drilling operations. The Hess Virtual Reality Lab is part of the College of Engineering and Mines and the Department of Petroleum Engineering.
“The launch of this VR training lab is a great resource for students to learn complex operations in a simplified but practical sense and gain hands-on experiences in a safe environment,” states Dr. Vamegh Rasouli, the Chair of the Petroleum Engineering Department.
The VR training lab has been developed and installed by Qbit Technologies Inc., a Palo Alto startup specializing in VR solutions for training and business applications. As with other solutions developed by Qbit, the UND VR lab has been developed using a free, open source platform for the creation of shared virtual reality simulations.
“VR will democratize the use of simulation for training, and this project is a perfect example of using our platform and VR to rapidly develop a training solution for safety in the Oil and Gas industry,” says Philip Rosedale, CEO of High Fidelity.
The hardware used comprises HTC Vive headsets, hand controllers and haptic gloves in the near future. We are also creating a VR cave space, where learners can use special PC backpacks and move freely in the simulation environment, free from wires stopping their movements.