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Launching a new reality in mining training

NORCAT rolls out virtual reality technology at PDAC
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Virtual reality was the centrepiece feature of the Northern Ontario Mining Showcase pavilion at the world’s largest mining show in Toronto.

NORCAT used the global exposure that the platform of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference provides to unveil its array of new learning technologies that the Sudbury-based innovation centre believes will transform how the industry trains its workforce.

Their display at PDAC features its augmented reality (AR) firefighting training simulator and a demonstration of the virtual reality (VR) induction training program for both surface and underground mining operations.

These new learning tools were developed after NORCAT staff spent the last three years consulting with the global mining industry to better understand the future of their work and how the centre can better support their training needs.

“Our work with leading mining companies has demonstrated that when applied correctly, virtual and augmented reality learning technologies create an engaged-learning experience that drives meaningful learning outcomes and enhances knowledge retention,” said Ed Wisniewski, NORCAT’s technology director in a news release.

“As our products demonstrate, it is the combination of defining the right content, curriculum, and learning outcomes, and understanding the pedagogical aspects of how people learn, that will ultimately determine the success of implementing new training and development technologies in the mining industry.”

Don Duval, CEO of the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology, said it’s all about supporting the next generation of miners with the “right delivery mechanisms.”

“The world of skilled labour training and development is transforming and new technology is creating an array of opportunities to enhance the training experience. NORCAT remains at the forefront of innovation as a market leader in skilled labour training and development for the global mining industry and continues to develop state of the art technologies for a ‘new world of training’ in response to this ‘new world of work.’”

These technologies were showcased at NORCAT’s “experiential booth” at the Northern Ontario pavilion.

The live demos included the latest in mine skills training technology including AR, VR, interactive multi-player avatar-based training, incident re-creation, and digital safety systems.