Training Technology Goes Virtual
June 26, 2020—Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are the newest technology trends taking the world by storm. Advanced software company, Tradiebot, is applying these trending technologies to the automotive industry and says it makes training easier and more enjoyable.
Tradiebot uses VR technology to provide training for students and those already in the industry to learn skills virtually. Their VR training program, SprayVIS, allows users to receive training in spray painting via a simulator, where users can practice their spray painting skills and receive feedback on their performance. This method increases training speed while decreasing the cost and environmental impact of real-life spray painting training.
“Well-designed VR provides an opportunity to practice without the need for a spray booth, materials, other equipment costing tens of thousands of dollars or personal protective equipment,” Michael LoPrete, Tradiebot's chief operating officer, says.
On the AR side of things, Tradiebot’s program WorxAR allows users to receive step-by-step instructions on repair work via a phone, tablet, or AR glasses. Think of it like a virtual repair manual that gives real-time instructions through a “digital twin” of the car.
“Using AR, a technician can be walked through a specific process as highlighted on the overlaid digital twin, color coded to simplify identifying aspects of the repair procedure. If bolts need to be removed, they can be highlighted on the digital twin for easy identification by the technicians,” LoPrete says.
As the world becomes increasingly virtual, Tradiebot’s mission to introduce new technologies is an innovative way to recruit youth and grow companies for the modern times. LoPrete is confident that this technology will benefit all “Tradies” (the company’s term for pre-career youth and those already working in a skilled trade).
“The foundation for all of this is to provide an environment for pre-career and existing Tradies to be able to acquire and enhance skill sets and learning to drive productivity and quality enhancements to employers around the world,” he says.
According to LoPrete, research has shown that memory retention in a VR environment surpasses any other known method. Training via VR is becoming more and more effective and important as today’s society goes increasingly digital, and can help interest young minds into working in the automotive industry.
“VR training is important due to the immersive nature of the experience, and the growing familiarity that Generation Z has with the technology,” LoPrete says.
Learning skills virtually is perhaps more pertinent now than ever before, in the era of COVID-19. Stay-at-home orders and social distancing prove the need for off-site and virtual training, and LoPrete believes that VR and AR training can be the solution to that.
Tradiebot is based in Australia and North Macedonia and currently works with developmental projects and clients in Australia and New Zealand, but the company has plans to expand to North America, and introduce their technology to repair and collision shops.
“We are building both VR and AR projects in the USA and Canada with a handful of well-known companies in the collision repair industry,” LoPrete says.
Their VR technology is ready to be implemented into the training and education space now, and the development of the AR technology is expected to be finished in 2020, and will open to the market in 2021.
Introducing VR and AR technology to the automotive industry is a chance to modernize and advance the trade, which LoPrete states is much needed to keep up with the rapid virtualization of businesses.
“What makes Tradiebot Industries special is that we are trying to make a difference with the skilled trades, a group often at the trailing edge of development.”