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Virtually real

Virtually real

02/03/2010 | Channel: Technology, Manufacturing

Virtalis, Europe’s leading Virtual Reality (VR) and simulation technologies, has supplied the expertise and equipment that’s enabling the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre’s MANufacturing Technology TRAnsporter (MANTRA) to have the first-ever mobile Virtalis StereoWorks ActiveWall system. MANTRA is a specially modified demonstration HGV that travels the UK, demonstrating the latest manufacturing, machinery and simulation technologies.

“Transferring industry-ready manufacturing solutions to companies as quickly as possible is a vital component to maximising the UK’s manufacturing competitiveness,” says research director of the AMRC, Professor Keith Ridgway. “Using MANTRA and the stereoscopic 3D capabilities of the Virtalis StereoWorks ActiveWall system, we can demonstrate to businesses how VR technology can help achieve a smooth integration of new technologies into production environments.”

Although MANTRA is primarily designed as a technology demonstration and transfer tool for businesses, an equally important use for it is inspiring young men and women to become the next generation of engineers. The immersive qualities of VR bring students face-to-face with the real life challenges encountered by engineers every day.

MANTRA was funded with an award of £500,000 from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) 2007 Knowledge Transfer Challenge, which rewards and celebrates innovative approaches to supporting knowledge transfer in universities, making sure that research finds its way to end users in business and the public sector. AMRC saw VR as a key technology to showcase.