VR-PLC on the Immersive Training Platform
Recently, activity leader Jan Luca Siewert showcased the VR-PLC project showcased as one of the three best use-cases on the EIT Manufacturing and EIT Digital Immersive Training Platform, a resource for educators interested in immersive technologies like augmented and virtual reality. The platform offers a range of tools and services based on didactic principles and best practices, and our project was featured as a use case.
PLCs are an essential part of automated shop floor operations across all manufacturing industries. To better prepare industrial professionals for the challenges of the digital transformation, upskilling and reskilling of the existing workforce is essential. In the EU research project VR-PLC: PLC-Centered VR-Training for Industry 4.0, funded by EIT Manufacturing, scientists and users from Ruhr-Universität Bochum, the Institute for Sustainable Technologies of the Łukasiewicz Research Network from Radom, Poland, and LINPRA, the Lithuanian Mechanical Engineering and Technology Association, are working on an introductory course for programming programmable logic controllers.
At the heart of the online and hybrid workshop format is the VR-PLC virtual learning environment, where users can interact with industrial automation systems in VR or via their web browser. The environment simulates a simple PLC and provides users with an easy-to-use editor to test their PLC programs with direct visual feedback. The VR-PLC virtual learning environment is part of an online and hybrid workshop format that also includes interactive educational content and videos.
During the presentation, we demonstrated how the VR-PLC virtual learning environment can be used to teach PLC programming in an immersive and interactive way. The audience was impressed by the environment and appreciated the fact that it can be accessed with VR hardware or via a web browser.
In conclusion, the VR-PLC project is making significant progress towards providing an effective and engaging way for industrial professionals to learn about PLC programming. The VR-PLC virtual learning environment offers a unique and interactive learning experience, and we are excited to continue developing and improving it. Our next steps include conducting further testing and evaluation of the environment to ensure its effectiveness and relevance for our target audience.
In the continuation project VR-PLC: Train-The-Trainers, starting in 2023, we will focus on developing a train-the-trainer model that will enable other educators to use the VR-PLC platform in their teaching. This will involve providing training and support to educators to help them integrate the VR-PLC virtual learning environment into their existing curricula. By doing so, we hope to reach an even wider audience and help more people to gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the digital age.
Overall, we are excited about the future of the VR-PLC project and the potential it has to support the upskilling and reskilling of industrial professionals in Eastern European countries. We look forward to continuing our work and helping more people to gain the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in the digital and climate-neutral transformation of European industry.