VR Technology for Ship Engine Room safety introduced by Turku University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Research led by Prof Evangelos Markopoulos and Prof Mika Luimula of the Game Lab of Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS), Research Group of Futuristic Interactive Technologies, in close collaboration with Wärtsilä Sea and Land Academy and ADE Oy has resulted in the development of ShipSEVR (Ship Engine Safety Education Virtual Reality).
ShipSEVR focuses on engines and engine room safety procedures by integrating Wärtsilä’s years of experience in ship engine production and engine rooms. The technology consists of a 3D engine room space where trainees are expected to find certain devices and equipment by utilising available technical drawings.
In the maritime industry, various professions require work routines in harsh or even hazardous conditions where technical documentation is difficult to read. Especially for novices, a three-dimensional understanding of technical drawings can be challenging. To train for these skills with traditional methods is challenging. In the classroom it is easy to read technical documentation but difficult to understand the meaning, while on the vessel it is easy to understand technical documentation but difficult to teach it.
Gaining access to, reading, analysing the details (zooming), searching and storing technical documentation is a significant contribution to ship engine maintenance as most of the physical technical documentation is not easily accessible when needed and not in good conditions due to previous usage. Unlimited training scenarios can be delivered in ShipSEVR: various challenges can be combined on type of work to delivered, physical issues in the engine room and emergency or critical situations.
ShipSEVR was developed for safety training and education in engine rooms but its operations aim to extend the safety scope by the integration of behavioural analytics that predict not only the ability of the engineer to perform safety operations effectively but recognise the emotional and physical state of the engineer to meet a technical safety challenge.
ShipSEVR can “transform” any location on the ship, even a cabin, into a virtual space with a precise simulation of for instance the real engine room conditions, layout and engines. The technology provides accessibility to engine and engine room schematics, technical diagrams and documentation for the trainee’s eyes, as a portable digital technical library.
The effectiveness of ShipSEVR reduces training costs, identifies capable crew trust in the engine room, reduces the possibility of any type of accident, increases safety standards and practices, and rewards the well-trained crew though a points system. ShipSEVR increases shipping companies’ reputation for efficient and safe operations and engine manufactures’ reputation for adaptation and alignment with advanced technologies as supportive tools to their customers.
The results of this research are presented in the academic paper below:
Evangelos Markopoulos, Mika Luimula, Pasi Porramo, Tayfun Pisirici, and Aleksi Kirjonen. (2020) ‘Virtual Reality (VR) Safety Education for Ship Engine Training on Maintenance and Safety (ShipSEVR). Book: Advances in Creativity, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Communication of Design. Editors: Evangelos Markopoulos, Ravindra S. Goonetilleke, Amic G. Ho and Yan Luximon. Proceedings of the AHFE 2020 Virtual Conferences on Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Human Factors in Communication of Design, July 16-20, 2020, USA. Chapter No: 7, Springer DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-51626-0.