Virtual reality (VR) is gaining more and more recognition throughout the world, slowly seeping into many leading industries, with the aim to modernise, streamline and increase productivity.
A recent taking up of the technology by the Raymond Corporation, is aiming to assist in the development of new and veteran forklift drivers. The manufacturer has launched a new VR simulator to serve as a supplemental tool, which allows operators to become familiar and comfortable using a forklift, before having to even physically enter a warehouse or other operational environment.
Avoiding the risks
The new VR simulator effectively allow forklift operators to train in a simulated warehouse, by using an actual forklift truck that’s been plugged into a VR port. By using a real forklift for the experience, a driver can get used to interacting with the real controls and navigating the virtual warehouse risk free.
This is extremely beneficial for very inexperienced operators, who are at greater risk of accidentally crashing into shelving or damaging stock.
Building confidence and focus
By allowing drivers to become familiar and comfortable with the forklift and its controls before physically using it in a real world environment, helps to grow natural confidence, as the driver can focus on the forklift without the fear of causing a real incident.
It comes preloaded with a variety of specific lesson modules and guided tutorials, from maneuvers to pick ups. Each increasing in complexity, giving the user a consistent experience, and helping to reinforce behaviors to make them a fully capable forklift operator.
The VR even provides useful in-game statistics to provide extensive feedback to the user on all areas that can be improved upon.
The instructor drives alongside
There’s also an instructor’s panel included with the simulation, which allows someone to view exactly what the forklift driver is seeing as they go through the VR training.
This ability to effectively see exactly what the user is seeing as they play through the simulation, allows the instructor to provide the most accurate real-time feedback, and create relevant reports on driver progress. The improvement with training communication will no doubt help operators to progress much quicker through any problem areas.
Futuristic forklift learning
With the integration of state of the art VR technology into forklift training, the benefits could change the shape of how the entire industry currently operates.
If the tech continues to catch on, other advantages will present themselves, such as the ability to pre-screen applicants – testing those who claim to have extensive experience, as well as sharpening the skills of existing workers.
Also, as with Raymond Corporation, once the forklift connected to the simulator is no longer needed for instruction, it can be disconnected and put back into operation, saving on further costs.
The virtual gamification of training and learning, will hopefully only encourage users to become more enthusiastic about learning.