Virtual reality (VR) can be used to enhance teaching in engineering education as it enables designing interactive and immersive exercises integrated with digitized learning spaces, which can increase the active time spent on learning activities, and reduce the teaching expenses. Two VR learning systems related to rock engineering and mining education have been developed at Aalto University, Finland. The first system is the Virtual Underground Training Environment (VUTE) developed for the training of fracture mapping and rock mass characterization as part of Mining Education and Virtual Underground Rock Laboratory (MIEDU) research project. VUTE consist of a photorealistic 3d digital twin of the Aalto Research Tunnel that was digitized using Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry and virtual tools designed for practicing rock wall fracture mapping. The VR system enables remote visual inspection of the rock surface and virtual measurements of the orientation spacing, and roughness of discontinuities (an example video of the VUTE system can be viewed here https://youtu.be/8Zxtotw_vyg). The system was tested on a group of 20 students, and the measurements performed in VR were compared against real-life mapping performed by students in the tunnel. The results demonstrated that students could identify the same three major joint sets with analogous orientations in both VR and tunnel mapping. The measurements made in the VR system were more systematic, and exercise completion time was reduced by 50% compared to manual compass measurements performed in the tunnel. The second VR learning system for teaching students how to identify rocks and minerals is currently being developed in the Educational Virtual Rock Collection (EDUROCK) research project. A collection of more than 100 rock and mineral specimens was digitized using photogrammetry and turned into a digital online learning asset. The virtual collection will be accessible on a desktop via an online model repository Sketchfab for self-study by students; it will be also implemented into an interactive learning platform developed in Unity game engine for HTC Vive VR headsets. The obtained output of the project will be used during the execution of the “Geology and geomechanics” course at Aalto University.
|Publication status||Published - 18 Oct 2019|
|MoE publication type||Not Eligible|
|Event||Visual3D Conference: Visualization of 3D/4D Models in Geosciences, Exploration and Mining - Uppsala, Sweden|
Duration: 1 Oct 2019 → 2 Oct 2019