S10-O/LT8-1 - An open source engineering practice assistant training system based on virtual reality

1. Innovative Practice Work In Progress
Zhibo Sun1, 2 , Dan Zhang2, Xueling Luo2, Qinghua Cao1, Zhilong Li1
1 Beihang University,Beihang School
2 York University

      Engineering training course takes the responsibility of cultivating undergraduate students' innovative ability, team cooperation ability and practical engineering ability. Now there are two ways for the innovation of the engineering practical teaching. The most popular way is to carry on the project-based curriculum, and the practical training is one section of the course. Through the whole process students can put forward innovative ideas, improve the practical skills and understand the importance of teamwork. Another one is to innovate the practice teaching methods. With the advanced strategy and technology, the practice training courses perform more efficient, interesting and sustainable achievements.
      Our research is a combination of the project curriculum and the innovative training methods. It is focus on the visual reality (VR) for the engineering practice teaching. This paper focuses on the design and implementation of the project based course named “Comprehensive innovation training” began for the senior students. VR methods applied for practice course was one of the projects in the course. Instructors build the initial models from the real practice situation in the visual environment by the software Unreal Engine 4, and guide the students the basic use of the software. Then the students in the class would design the motion of the equipment based on the reality rules, finish the operating system with the VR device, and debug the program for the final application. In the end, successful project from the course was applied as an assistant practice method for the junior students in their practice training class, and the students would give a feedback to the system. Furthermore, the project as a design engineering process, junior undergraduate students could get involve with the design process after they earn experience from the project-based course.
      Now the project is carry on, and the model of drilling machine and lathe machine are established in the visual environment. The engineering practice assistant training system based on VR has already applied for the junior students, and some of feedback has received. 81 percent of the students shows interesting about the new method. The whole project is sustainable and the system will be abundant in the next few years.