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A low-cost PC-oriented virtual environment for operator training [for power stations]

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6 Author(s)
Tam, E.K. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., McGill Univ., Montreal, Que., Canada ; Maurel, C. ; Desbiens, P. ; Marceau, R.J.
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Virtual environment (VE) technologies have been shown to provide invaluable training in the performance of complex procedural tasks. Of paramount importance to the success of any VE is realism; entities must move and behave believably and approximate the complexity of the real world. Such real-world fidelity is accompanied by the challenge of making immersive training in virtual reality (VR) more widely available, at costs significantly less prohibitive. A solution is presented to recreate the VE on low-cost PCs, reducing the cost of the VR software itself, yet preserving real-time performance. This paper presents a low-cost, PC-based VR development system within the framework of ESOPE-VR, a VR power station operator training simulator (OTS) prototype for power-utility personnel. PC-ESOPE-VR aims to provide the same or improved functionality and performance as the original, with a 3-D visual interface, voice recognition and feedback, navigation and manipulation facilities and expert system, multimedia and multi-user (distributed) support, yet address the practical demands raised above. The PC-based system is also compatible with the original; it can draw on existing ESOPE-VR power component libraries and support the automatic synthesis of a virtual power station environment from its single-line diagram representation. The approach used towards fulfilling all these issues is described, followed by key implementation results

Published in:

Power Industry Computer Applications., 1997. 20th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

11-16 May 1997