Virtuality reality training for hydraulics


HYDAC Australia has successfully launched a cutting-edge virtual reality hydraulics training environment.

The leading hydraulics and automation control solutions company recently finished the 12-month research project, in collaboration with Deakin University and with the support of the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC).

The technology teaches maintenance staff and trainees how to safely service and maintain important hydraulics systems and components.

Mark Keen, Managing Director at HYDAC Australia, said the project had supported significant research advances into HYDAC’s mixed reality technology.

“Working closely with IMCRC and Deakin’s Motion Lab, we’ve developed a virtual environment that overcomes access issues and safety risks posed by in-person training, while supporting real-time instruction, feedback and verification of skills,” he said.

“We started this project believing the technology would be for internal use only. But our research collaboration has been so successful that we are now looking to include this training solution as part of HYDAC’s commercial offering moving forward.”

Stefan Greuter, Director of Deakin’s Motion Lab, said the IMCRC collaboration had harnessed Australia’s cutting-edge research into virtual reality to pioneer a world-first hydraulics training solution.

“By embracing HYDAC Australia’s objective of creating a unique user experience – bringing people from across Australia together virtually to collaborate in real-time – we have delivered an interactive technology that sets a new benchmark for hydraulics training in the advanced manufacturing industry in Australia,” he said.

Dr Matthew Young, Manufacturing Innovation Manager at IMCRC, commended HYDAC Australia and Deakin on the successful completion of their research collaboration.

“The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for virtual reality training environments. HYDAC Australia and Deakin have developed a revolutionary technology that meets this need, with commercial applications across many sectors including education and manufacturing,” he said.

“IMCRC is proud to have facilitated and accelerated the commercialisation of this project, which has laid foundations for future advances into virtual reality environments and strengthened Australia’s research and development capabilities.”

HYDAC Australia will showcase its virtual reality technology at Geelong Design Week, with the display open to the public from Friday 18 March.