Written by: Andy Swapp April 6, 2021
FieldCore, A GE company and partner with Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari NM for training purposes, has commissioned the making of a VR, or Virtual Reality, movie in and around the Wind turbine at Mesalands. Actors are playing the part of “Wind Technicians” a director is calling the shots and FieldCore experts are advising in real time.
A script is being followed and every scene is carefully watched via remote monitors by the technical staff of the filming crew and the resident experts of FieldCore. A sound man is in the background with gear strapped on and Microphones strategically placed to capture the cleanest sound possible in a windy and echoing environment.
The camera being used shoots video all around at the same time so that the wearer of VR head set can look anywhere in the scene by turning their head. It will look as though they are standing inside the turbine with the actors. The whole process is obviously no easy task but the crew from Striver, the production company, are very detail oriented and observant of things that may make or brake a scene.
John Guzman, lead safety instructor for FieldCore, explained that the VR training will save the company hours of training time and cover more subjects than could be covered by climbing each individual student up the tower. By showing actual unsafe situations in the VR video, new hires/students can see multiple things that can go wrong on a tower climb and they will see how to handle the situation properly.
To recreate all of these situations in real time on every tower climb would make the safety training unfeasible. With the VR new hires can witness several possible mishaps and know how to identify them and correct them before they climb the tower. The VR does not eliminate the actual tower climb of each new hire/student but it greatly enhances the safety awareness with a visual depiction that is not easily forgotten.
Virtual Reality is a teaching medium that some say is the closest to actual hands on training. Several modalities of learning are used when VR is employed in the classroom. VR technology has grown exponentially over the last five years and is being utilized in many different industries. It is an honor to host such technology and the people involved with it on the Mesalands campus. We commend FieldCore for being so forward thinking and cutting edge with their safety training. FieldCore is definitely a company that cares about creating a culture of safety.