Report: APP CMHS Project 4

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6.1.6. Virtual Reality Training

iCinema Centre for Interactive Cinema Research at UNSW has pioneered the world’s first Advanced Visualisation and Interactive Environment (AVIE) using a unique 360° stereoscopic projection and multi-user movement response system.

It is the most advanced real world simulator of its kind, providing a panoramic cinematic environment using 12 hi-resolution video projectors, six computers and a massive 120 m2 circular screen that completely surrounds and immerses the audience.

It includes a high-resolution video tracking system that detects and interprets the movement and gestures of the audience, along with a 16 channel spatialised audio system. Stereoscopic glasses allow the simulations to be seen with an incredible degree of realism. The iDome, a fibreglass hemisphere can be used for individual training sessions, providing panoramic and spherical viewpoints of mining environments.

The system can also be used for larger groups on a curved screen that wraps around the users, immersing them in a realistic representation of the underground and surface coal mining environments. Users are presented with problem based learning exercises relating to a situation that may be encountered in a real mine environment.

Miners are prompted to make decisions about how to deal with these situations through group discussions. The system provides feedback on correct or incorrect responses as part of the assessment process. Training usually occurs in groups of 12 to 15 people.

The system can simulate and teach miners about unaided underground self-escape, underground rib and roof stability and open cut truck and shovel operations and a range of other important skills.

Some scenarios are confrontational and high risk, as miners are exposed to the problems and dangers of a dynamic mine environment. The theatres allow personnel to experience and respond to these hazards in a safe and forgiving environment before actually encountering them in the workplace.

The software and theatres are part of facilities at Coal Services Pty Ltd, four NSW Mines Rescue Stations (

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