Landmine XR: Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) Engineering Tools
Creating the next generation of landmine training simulations for real world engineering applications.
At the close of 2021, AVimmerse were approached by world-leading engineers at The University of Manchester’s Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering. They wanted to harness the power of immersive technology to teach others how to use a new type of landmine detection tool, which they had invented under an international Intellectual Property (or IP) framework.
Landmine XR Environment
A key deliverable for this project was to allow trainees to understand and undertake landmine detection using a simulated, and safe, environment. Therefore, we needed to create a real-world simulation that placed users in a space very similar to where landmine clearances take place: in this project it was primarily Cambodia, given the tool was being developed for landmine clearance work in South-East Asia. We also had to create a desert environment that simulated a space that looked ‘middle-eastern’, where people would need to clear landmines.
The second part of the project was to create a landmine augmented reality application, that engaged users by showcasing different types of 3D landmine devices in a real-world setting. We also had to provide statistics about each landmine for users to discover.
Landmine VR Interactive Menu
Virtual Reality (VR)
To train users on how to conduct safe training, we crafted a Virtual Reality experience that places users inside a custom-made environment. We created digital tools inside the simulation including placeholder markers to display where landmines are located, safety areas to conduct landmine detection, as well as a digital twin of the landmine detection tool for the user to operate.
We also created simulated weather patterns, which the user could change, as well as an X-ray view, and the ability to change environment type.
To create the landscapes we used a combination of 360 skyboxes and 3D objects we created.
Augmented Reality (AR)
The goal of the augmented reality simulation was to ‘train users using real-time volumes of data on where landmine threats are.’ Our app allows users to visualise different landmines and inspect the characteristics of the landmine using statistics about each model.
To make the AR experience we scanned and created three different landmine or rather we made digital twins, then built a digital replica in CAD, before taking the models into blender and optimising for our app. After we got them into the Unity game engine, we added custom animations, interactions to view each model, statistics, and a custom image trigger to initialise the experience.
Landmine AR Menu Options
Here’s what the client had to say about this project:
'AVimmerse developed a brilliant VR simulation to assist our research surrounding landmine detection. Keith went above and beyond to ensure the program met our requirements and his design expertise was invaluable throughout the process.’
Prof Anthony Peyton
Professor of Electromagnetic Tomography
University of Manchester
Now that the proof of concept has been demonstrated, the university academics have been successful in applying for further funding and will now develop more simulations for AR/VR using real world data captured from the landmine tool.
We were able to deliver both a VR and AR solution that educates and engages users on how to conduct landmine testing, the different types of landmines involved, and the typical environment where you would encounter such threats. The University of Manchester has subsequently gone on to have open days where hundreds of people have used the VR simulation to gain an understanding of landmine clearance and the feedback we have received has been very positive.