OCTC receives $593k grant to develop VR training for advanced manufacturing

SEP 12, 2021

Owensboro Community and Technical College recently received a $593,464 grant to develop a virtual reality training application for advanced manufacturing.

To accomplish the objectives, the project will combine immersive and interactive mixed reality training experiences covering technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, smart-sensors, and the internet of things.

The project, titled “Strengthening the Industry 4.0 Workforce through Virtual Reality Training,” focuses on developing multi-skilled technicians with the industry 4.0 skills needed to increase efficiency and profitability for today’s manufacturers.

The Advanced Manufacturing Technical Education Collaborative (AMTEC), housed at OCTC, will lead the project for this new grant-funded initiative that begins on Oct. 1.

The project team, led by OCTC’s Jason Simon, the director of AMTEC, will develop virtual reality training courses with input from industry and education subject matter experts.

“Now more than ever, industry and education have to partner together to train the workforce of tomorrow,” Simon said. “This project is going to allow us to prepare technicians to enter into the ever-evolving field of advanced manufacturing utilizing cutting-edge technology.”

OCTC and AMTEC will collaborate with zSpace, a leader in virtual reality technology, to create an industry 4.0 virtual reality training application for college and secondary students across the country.

This application will provide the opportunity for students to troubleshoot 10 faults on the AMTEC advanced manufacturing industry simulator through a three-dimensional, computer-generated environment, which can be explored and interacted with by the students.

The AMTEC simulator is a hands-on trainer that introduces students to the fundamentals of real-world integrated systems and components and sub-systems in context with real-world manufacturing.