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Dr Ludovico Carozza; Dr Frédéric Bosché; Dr Mohamed Abdel-Wahab

Dr Ludovico Carozza; Dr Frédéric Bosché; Dr Mohamed Abdel-Wahab

Highly Commended Winner 2015
iHR: Immersive Hybrid Reality for Construction Trade Training

Research Abstract

Virtual Reality technology (e.g. CAVEs or immersive goggles like the Oculus Rift) have great potential for training of professionals. However, current solutions cannot support the needs of manual trades that require the execution of real tasks, such as ‘touching’ and ‘manipulating’ real objects. Yet, immersive virtual reality could benefit trade training immensely by safely delivering a variety of realistic worksite experiences in challenging or hazardous working conditions.

 

The iHR system uniquely overcomes this challenge by uniquely integrating the visual and 3D structure of both the virtual world and the real world closely surrounding the user. This uniquely enables users to see their own body as well any other real object in their vicinity immersed within the virtual environment (no avatars). For construction trades, this means that trainees can see their hands, tools and materials altogether immersed in any virtual environment of relevance to their training. The iHR, currently being piloted in two further education colleges in Scotland, will enable trainees to, for example, train at significant heights without being exposed to the risks associated to such contexts. 

 

The iHR project’s multi-disciplinary team also included Dr Enrique Valero (Heriot-Watt University). The project would like to acknowledge the project funders, CITB and the Energy Skills Partnership, and stakeholders, Edinburgh College and Fife College.

Winner's Bios

Dr Ludovico Carozza

Heriot-Watt University, UK

Ludovico received an MSc degree in Electronic Engineering, Biomedical Course, from the University of Bologna, Italy and a PhD in Information Technologies (Systems for Information Processing) from the Advanced Research Centre on Electronic Systems (ARCES), University of Bologna, Italy. Ludovico is currently a Research Associate at Heriot-Watt University, where he conducts research on the application of computer vision and computer graphics for localisation, enhanced visualisation and immersive human-computer interaction in various multidisciplinary contexts (e.g. Construction, Urban Design, Energy and Environment, Psychology).

Dr Frédéric Bosché

Heriot-Watt University, UK

Frédéric is an associate professor and leader of the CyberBuild research lab at Heriot-Watt University. He has 15 years of experience in conducting research at the interface between construction engineering & management, construction IT and computer vision. Currently, he focuses on the application of 3D imaging (e.g. laser scanning) to the survey of built facilities including historic buildings, visualisation technologies for professional and stakeholder engagement, and wearable technologies for worker health monitoring. Frédéric is associate editor of the international journal of Automation in Construction and member of the board of directors of the International Association for Automation and Robotics in Construction.

Dr Mohamed Abdel-Wahab

Heriot-Watt University, UK

Mohamed is lecturer in Construction Technology at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. He is also a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design and a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. He has extensive research experience in construction skills/training issues with over 40 publications. His work is cited by the UK CES, OECD and informed the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) of the Industrial Training Levy Order 2009-2012. Mohamed’s portfolio of applied research is in excess £0.5million which is funded by various organisations, such as: CITB, Scottish Government, & European Regional Development Fund.

 

Judge's comments

“iHR is an excellent addition to the spectrum of approaches that are currently available for  training operatives to be aware of the potential dangers of working in exposed and adverse environments. It is highly innovative in combining the dexterity of manual operations with an appreciation of the context within which such tasks are performed. It is still in the relatively early stages of proof of use, but the judging panel envisages that it will attract much attention in the near future.”