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Case Study

TOYOTA - VR Safety Dojo

A screen capture of the VR application

INTRODUCTION

Toyota has always been on the forefront of providing a safe work environment based on it’s founder’s ‘5S rules’. These rules are employed in every car dealership and workplace to provide maximum security and safety resulting in better results and an overall better quality control.

Toyota keeps a record of all the incidents that happen inside its factories around the world. An analysis of every incident results in an incident report. These incident reports are used to avoid future incidents and train the personnel to avoid it from happening in the future.

Vires was asked to create simulations of these incidents in Virtual Reality.

Together with project leader Steven Verhaert we developed multiple incident scenarios.

Lock out procedures

If you want to enter a welding cell you need to follow the correct procedure. A badge needs to be placed so other workers know that the welding cell is under maintenance and someone is inside. Not following this procedure correctly could lead to fatal incidents.

This excellent case was the first simulation Vires started developing.

The preparation

A virtual factory was modeled after the Toyota factory in Valenciennes. Vires took a lot of pictures and started modeling the welding cell and its environment.

We followed an education of the procedure and we tried to reflect reality accurately using 3d models, animations, audio and cut scenes.

The execution

The entire application is developed using Unity and targeted for high end VR hardware.

We came up with a scenario where the worker needs to remove a broken tip from the welding cell. The user needs to check if he is wearing the correct clothing, if he can cross without any dangers, if it is safe to enter and leave the welding cell and if no one stays behind before locking.

Not hanging the badge when entering the welding cell will lead to a simulation where someone else is activating the welding cell. The robot arms will be activated and you will be hit as a user.

Because it’s not always clear what happens when you are hit in VR we added a cutscene that shows what happened.

Interaction and UX

The whole factory is animated and alive but we kept interactions with the environment as simple as possible. With the use of just a few buttons (interaction & teleport) the user can easily go through the VR module.

All actions in the simulation have been made simple with the interaction button.

Hanging the badge is just like in real life. You look down, take the badge with the interaction button and hang it on the dedicated position on the welding cell.

When we were building this simulation eye tracking was not available yet in VR. We used panels that require you to look long enough in that direction to validate if you were paying attention to that position.

If you are hit by the welding arm we show cutscenes to make sure that the user is aware that he just has been hit.

The result

The application has been validated by TME and a delegation of stakeholders from Toyota Global.

The success of this application is that it can simulate unsafe situations in Virtual Reality that lead to awareness of the user coming from a shock effect. Even though you are getting hit only virtually it still leaves a shock effect that leads to increased learning.

Multiple Toyota factories all over the world are looking to implement this module to train their personnel. Because of the success of this VR product we added multiple scenarios that train the communication between a worker and a forklift operator inside a factory environment.